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What is an EMDG Consultant
An EMDG Consultant assists with preparing and lodging an application for the Export Market Development Grant.
Why help exporters?
The export market of any country helps its economy by bringing in foreign money, which increases the GDP of the exporting nation.
Virtually every country in the world wants its export market to develop and expand so that it can achieve a positive balance of trade through positive net exports.
However, developing an export market can be a tricky and expensive matter for local businesses, since it needs extensive research on the needs, culture, and competitors for your target market.
How the Government can help?
In order to help out the small or middle-sized businesses existing locally, the Australian Government has a financial assistance program called, “EMDG” which stands for the Export Market Development Grant.
The EMDG aims to help out those businesses that are either currently working or aspiring to export products such as goods, services, or intellectual property.
Unlike normal grant systems, companies don’t have to compete for financial assistance—applicants are entitled to funding.
EMDG, in fact, works by reimbursing 50% of an organisation’s eligible export promotional expenses, provided it has spent a minimum of $15,000 across the financial year.
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If an organisation finds that it is eligible to apply for the grant, there are two ways for it to make a claim.
The first or more direct method is to make a claim on your own.
For that matter, you can self-lodge an application, the process for which opens on 1 July and the deadline ends around 30 November (or the Monday if it falls on a weekend).
Self-lodging, however, is a challenging process because of the amount of administration that it requires.
Moreover, if the organisation’s claim gets rejected, it cannot lodge another claim until the next year.
This is where professional EMDG consultants come in.
Who are EMDG Consultants?
Professional EMDG consultants are often Austrade recognised and registered firms, which play a key role in supporting Australia’s exporters by creating awareness about the EMDG scheme.
EMDG consultants most often provide full service in which they lodge applications on behalf of the organisations, following a rigorous method of review of eligibility.
What do EMDG Consultants do?
EMDG grant consultants providing full service will work in a series of steps, starting with the identification of all EMDG related activities followed by estimations of cost and thereby assessing any issues that might hinder or impact the eligibility of the organisation to lodge a claim.
EMDG consultants will often offer a well-informed personal advice to you on how to manage your export strategies in a way to maximise their EMDG claim.
Next, EMDG consultants will gather together the information required and prepare an audit-ready EMDG application, which will then be submitted to Austrade for further processing.
In the meanwhile, the EMDG consultant would be in direct correspondence with Austrade, attending any audit meeting or answering the audit-related queries raised by Austrade, on behalf of the organisation making the claim.
This can be in the form of a site visit by an EMDG grant expert or via a phone call.
Why Use An EMDG Consultant?
The average claim value of an EMDG consultant prepared claims has been significantly higher than that of self-prepared claims over the past 3 years, with consultant-prepared claims averaging $51,587 and self-prepared claims $47,229 this year.
The proportion of claims prepared by EMDG consultants increased this year compared with the previous 2 years (from 58 per cent to 63 per cent of claims).
There is a marked difference in the proportion of claims prepared by EMDG consultants among different industries, with “other services” and “ICT services” businesses less likely to use an EMDG consultant in the preparation of their claims than businesses from other industries. The highest users of EMDG consultants (relative to self-prepared claims) were in the manufacturing and tourism sectors.
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Some EMDG consultants also provide assistance to you, if you prefer to lodge the claim yourself, in order to save on additional costs, yet maximise the claim.
You would therefore share the EMDG application form with the EMDG consultant, prior to submitting it, following which the professional would offer a high-level review including advice on how to increase the strength of its claim.
What happens on an EMDG Audit?
Sometimes organisations which require help from EMDG consultants especially during the audit process by Austrade.
This normally includes a review from the EMDG grant consultant prior to the submission of audit-ready application, following which the professional firm would provide assistance to you as the audit processes the EMDG application, and help them prepare response to any queries that are raised by Austrade during the process.
What are the benefits of using EMDG consultants?
EMDG consultants generally increases the success chance of an organisation’s application because they not only have the necessary experience in the field but are also in direct contact with Austrade and keep in touch with their meetings and policies.
Moreover, since they are well informed on the kind of export market that exists worldwide, they are better able to explain and advise their clients on how to maximise profits in the global market.