What is Small-Scale and Craft Program?
The Small-Scale and Craft Program is a four-year program that builds on targeting businesses looking to scale-up operations, diversify product lines and expand outreach.
The Victorian Government recognises the important role that small-scale, craft and premium agribusinesses play in Victoria’s agricultural sector and regional economies. The sector is closely linked to Victoria’s agri-tourism appeal and reputation as a producer of high-quality, niche agricultural offerings. The sector also helps shape Victoria’s food and culinary culture, showcasing the diversity of its regions.
Through the 2018 election commitment ‘Taking Our Local Produce to the World’, the Victorian Government is supporting small-scale and craft food and beverage producers across Victoria grow, increase market opportunities and strengthen Victoria’s regional offering to deliver flow-on benefits for jobs and tourism.
Small-Scale and Craft Program aims to:
- Support Victoria’s small-scale and craft agribusinesses to elevate and expand their businesses and support other businesses in the sector,
creating more jobs.
- Provide visitors with unique experiences and high-quality produce that increases tourism to the state.
Stream One: Small-Scale and Craft Business Development
- Support Victoria’s small-scale and craft agribusinesses to expand, scale-up operations and access new markets.
- For Victoria to continue to be a leader in artisanal produce, with a renewed focus on excellence and sustainability.
- An example of the type of projects that could be funded include the installation of a cool room to store more products or upgrades to a commercial kitchen.
Stream Two: Job Creation and Economic Development
- Support Victoria’s small-scale and craft agribusinesses to create regional growth through jobs, tourism or broader industry and community benefits.
- Identify opportunities to grow the sector and maintain Victoria’s reputation as a premium producer by supporting eligible businesses to build their operations.
- An example of a potential projects could include the development of a food distribution system across businesses, or shared processing or storage facilities amongst producers.
Two streams of funding are currently open under the program:
- Stream One – Small-Scale and Craft Business Development: Grants up to $25,000 are available to eligible small-scale and craft agribusinesses for projects that support businesses to scale up, expand their operations and diversify their products.
- Stream Two – Job Creation and Economic Development: Grants of $25,000-$200,000 are available to eligible small-scale and craft agribusinesses for significant projects that will deliver benefits to the community and generate jobs.
Grant funding may be used for the following types of projects:
- New equipment or small-scale infrastructure
- Product diversification
- Developing specialised skills
- Expansion into new markets, including market development strategies. Social media posts and advertising are excluded.
Eligible expenditure must clearly align with the objectives and one or more actions from the Artisanal Sector Roadmap listed below:
- Promote the artisanal sector as a vibrant and valued part of Victoria’s agricultural landscape and regional flavour
- Proposals that raise the profile of the artisanal sector or deliver ancillary activities
- Region-based agritourism projects that:
- Link and cross-promote multiple producers and food businesses
- Develop a tourism plan or tourism experience centred on promotion of food and produce, as well as broader regional capabilities
- Facilitate access to government support and services and enhance regulatory capabilities
- Proposals for member-based groups, associations, consultancy groups or service providers to the artisanal sector to deliver training and services to improve sector capabilities in food safety, biosecurity and other business-related regulatory requirements
- Support sectorled development of collaboration, community education, and coordinated leadership and advocacy for Victoria’s artisan producers
- Community-based initiatives such as food co-operatives or food hubs that will benefit multiple producers and food businesses
- Initiatives to engage the community in the sector, local food systems or local food production, such as:
- On-farm education programs for school groups
- On-farm agricultural skills, training or employment initiatives
In order to apply, applicants must:
- have a current Australian Business Number (ABN)
- be registered as a business in Victoria
- have a Victorian business address
- be a legal entity
- operate a small/micro agribusiness within the small-scale and craft sector i.e. cannot be a subsidiary of a larger firm
- agree to participate in future program evaluation activities
- meet all industrial relation obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards
- be able to meet the agreed (minimum 50 per cent) private cash/finance contribution, and provide evidence of the contribution
- attest to having obtained all relevant regulatory permits and approvals for the project to commence (where applicable)
- provide relevant business information on the project, including costs.
- For grants above $50,000, provide audited financial reports for the last three financial years to enable the department to conduct a Financial Risk Assessment (including Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and notes to the accounts) and management or interim accounts for the current year, if the most recent Financial Report is more than six months old (stream two only).
Stream one applications close 6 December 2019.
Stream two open for expressions of interest only and closes 31 December 2019.