Queensland SMEs to benefit from new Backing Business in the Bush Fund

The Backing Business in the Bush Fund is a $50 million investment program delivered by the Queensland Treasury that offers cash grants to support Queensland small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in undertaking projects in regional Queensland. The fund aims to assist established SMEs facing challenges due to a tight labor market and rising costs. It targets SMEs with 5 to 199 employees, promoting growth, improving productivity, and sustaining or increasing employment and skills.

The Backing Business in the Bush Fund is currently open and will close on 14 January 2024.

Eligible applicants can receive grants ranging from $500,000 to $2 million per project. These grants aim to enhance the long-term sustainability of regional businesses, foster competitiveness, support adaptation to economic changes, attract private sector investment, and encourage the adoption of environmentally sustainable technologies.

Funding eligibility

The fund focuses on supporting projects in traditional industries and sectors defined as follows:

  • value-adding to agriculture, forestry, and fishing products
  • the mining equipment, technology, and services (METS) sector
  • transport and logistics
  • manufacturing products for use in or in connection with:
    • the mining industry
    • processing minerals
    • agriculture
    • forestry
    • fisheries
    • processing produces of a primary industry
    • transport
    • defence

To be eligible for funding, a business must:

  • be a legal entity and have or be eligible to register for GST and an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • be an SME and have a place of business in Queensland;
  • have been trading for at least three years;
  • have a minimum turnover of $1 million in each of the last two financial years;
  • be able to demonstrate that it has access to sufficient funding to co-contribute its share of the project’s eligible capital expenditure; and
  • be positioned to start operations of the funded project within 18 months of potential funding agreement execution.

The applicant’s project must:

  • be located in regional Queensland and within the eligible industries or sectors;
  • align with the objectives of the fund;
  • investment ready; and
  • demonstrate a need for State assistance to realise outcomes under the fund’s Assessment criteria.

Application requirements

Applications will undergo a merit-based assessment against eligibility requirements and criteria in a two-stage process.

Applicants must submit business information, project details, and alignment with the fund's objectives in both Stage 1 and Stage 2. Required information across the two stages will include, but is not limited to:

  • Comprehensive information for probity and due diligence
  • Written statements demonstrating project alignment with eligibility criteria.
  • Details on current business operations
  • Evidence of capacity and commitment
  • Financial forecasts in the provided template
  • Stage 2 applicants will need to provide a business plan, project delivery plan, and workforce development documents.

Applications will close on 14 January 2024. For more information on the fund and to submit your application, visit the Queensland Treasury website.

Ready to grow your business? Explore your next initiative project

The Financial Advisory team at Mazars has extensive experience in grants (including assisting with economic impact), debt advisory, and project feasibility analysis for agribusinesses. Our agribusiness and finance experts can assist you in positioning your project to obtain advantageous funding. Contact your usual Mazars advisor via the form below or on:

+61 7 3218 3900+61 3 9252 0800+61 2 9922 1166


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Published: 28/11/2023

Source: Queensland Treasury

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