Small business receives an extra $4m to get online

Federal Government ups the funding for its Small Business Online program

The Federal Government has tipped in an extra $4 million to help fund a program to bring small businesses online.

First announced in the 2009/10 budget, the Small Business Online program — initially funded with $10 million — will provide between $50,000 and $700,000 in grants to 47 small business support groups.

The money will help small businesses set up or upgrade their websites to take advantage of the planned National Broadband Network (NBN).

“The NBN will be a powerful tool for small business and helping 50,000 small businesses go online or improve their online presence will ensure they are ready for these exciting opportunities,” Small Business Minister Craig Emerson, said in a statement.

Among other groups, funding is to be provided to:

  • Darwin Region Business Enterprise Centre ($320,000)
  • Margaret River Wine Industry Association ($140,000)
  • NSW Business Chamber ($495,000)
  • Gulf Savannah Development group ($200,000)

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, there is a strong correlation between the size of a business and whether it has an online presence.

Those employing less than 4 people, which account for just under 66 per cent of all operations, are less likely to have a website. In 2007/08 the ABS said only 27 per cent of these businesses had a website compared to 96 per cent of companies with more than 200 staff.

More information on the program can be found on the AusIndustry website.

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