Connecting Victoria to the rest of the world

The Victorian Department of State and Regional Development has launched a $1.3 million program to increase the uptake of ecommerce in Victoria.

The Victorian E-commerce Early-Movers assistance scheme (VEEM) provides funding packages to local businesses through their local councils. The purpose of working through councils is that they are in a better position to identify the needs of businesses in their local area.

Assistance to cover up to 75 per cent of all costs or a maximum of $45,000 is available to individual projects under the initiative. The program forms part of the State Government's Connecting Victoria policy for developing the state's information and communications technology industry and for sharing the benefits of these technologies across the entire Victorian community.

The VEEM scheme was introduced in response to the general acknowledgment that too few businesses in Victoria, especially those in regional and rural areas, are using ecommerce to build their business and enhance competitiveness.

Through the VEEM scheme, the State Government is providing businesses with opportunities to reap the benefits of being online early, as international experience with the information economy has shown that significant benefits fall to early adopters. Australia's ecommerce revenue is expected to grow from $253 million to $10.9 billion over the next three years, according to the Department.

Projects eligible for the VEEM grants include supply chain initiatives, online fulfilment and procurement implementations, ecommerce business planning workshops, vendor or business networking sessions, regional ecommerce expos and regional business portal implementation. The funding may involve capital, equipment costs and labour implementation costs but will not include the ongoing maintenance or operating costs of the project.

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