As a result of the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses’ digital operations, the Victorian Government unveiled the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program – a $20 million initiative to help Victorian sole traders, micro and small businesses from all industry sectors to adapt to a digital operating environment.
The program enables registered businesses to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training they can use to expand the digital capabilities of their day-to-day operations. In addition to the introduction of new digital products and infrastructure, the program also covers the renewal of lapsed products (used more than one year ago) and the upgrading of existing digital products (provided they include additional capabilities related to digital adaptation).
The program will not cover the cost of renewals of existing products or software licences, minor product updates (eg software version updates), or products not available under the program.
Products currently available via suppliers partnering with the Victorian Government include website, e-commerce, finance and digital business management tools. Businesses must purchase their preferred digital product available under the program before applying for a rebate of up to $1,200 to cover 12 months’ access to the product.
To be eligible for the program an applicant must:
- Operate a business located in Victoria
- Hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on 13 September 2019
- Be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 13 September 2020
- Be currently operating and intend to adapt their business to a digital operating environment
Note: Non-for-profit entities that are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply. Businesses that are not required by relevant taxation legislation to be registered for GST are also eligible to apply.
Registrations opened on 15 November 2020 and will remain open until 11.59pm on 28 February 2021 or until funds are exhausted, whichever is earlier. Applications for purchase rebates will be open from 1 December 2020 to 11.59pm on 31 March 2021, or until funds are exhausted.
Further information regarding the program, registrations and eligibility requirements can be found on the Business Victoria website.