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$1200 Victorian grant for ‘digital adaption’? Who knew!

Victorian photographers considering to launch or update their Squarespace website, adopt Square as an online product payment method, or start using Xero may be eligible for a $1200 State Government rebate.

The $1200 rebate is the Victorian State Government’s Small Business Digital Adaptation Program, a partnership with 14 suppliers to help small/micro businesses ‘access a range of digital business tools’.

Of the 14 suppliers, there are three or four that may be of interest to select photographers: Website building platform, Squarespace; retail payment platform, Square, and business/financial management software companies, Xero and MYOB.

A Melbourne-based Inside Imaging reader informed this publication they received the rebate after building a new offshoot business website through Squarespace. While the Small Business Digital Adaption Program has been active since late last year, the photographer was unable to find much information or discussion about it on various local business forums. With Victorian photographers once again feeling the sting of an extended Covid-19 lockdown – coupled with a lack of clear information about financial support – it’s possible many eligible participants of this program are unaware it exists. While locked down and stuck at home without any work, here is a financial incentive to use one of the 14 digital service providers.

Here’s how the Victorian State Government states it works:
– Take free product trials and workshops;
– Choose one or more of the digital products;
– Purchase your product and start using it;
– Apply for the rebate to cover up to 12 months access;
– Claim your $1200.

There are only a limited number of rebates and you will need to pay ongoing costs for the product after the rebate runs out.

Eligibility pre-requisites are listed as having operated a Victorian-based business with an active Australian Business Number (ABN) since or before 13 September, 2019.

‘Applicants also need to attest that they are currently operating their business and intend to adapt their business to a digital operating environment,’ the website states. ‘Businesses will be ineligible for the program if any information in their application is found to be deliberately false or misleading. ‘

The State Government providers an ABN checker so interested participants can ensure they’re eligible.

As previously stated, the grant prompted a Melbourne photographer to create a new Squarespace website for his photography studio. It cost him roughly $300 for a 12-month subscription, an hour to fill in the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program application form, and ‘in two months time, they follow up to see if you are still using the service. You fill out the survey and are paid out’ the $1200 rebate.

It’s a $20 million initiative, and runs until December 5, 2021 or until the funds are used up. Click here for more info.

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