Grants extension likely

THE Export Market Development Grants scheme – which reimburses up to 50 per cent of a business’ annual spending on export promotional activities – is likely to be extended for a further five years.

The Federal Government allocated $150 million a year to the scheme for the next five years in the recent Budget.

The Export Market Development Grants Bill has been introduced to Parliament.

Besides extending the scheme for a further five years, it also reduces the minimum expenditure threshold from $20,000 to $15,000 and removes the requirement or businesses to register before they apply for a first grant.

It also removes the restriction that consultants be “short-term only”, merges the overseas representation and consultants categories and caps them at $250,000.

The trade fairs category has been broadened to include seminar costs and in-store promotions.

The time family members need to have been full-time employees of the business in order to claim overseas travel expenses has been cut.

Last year nearly 3,000 businesses received EMDG assistance – 700 for the first time.

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