Innovation grants program opens

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Corangamite Shire is open for business and Council this week adopted a new program to encourage innovation and economic growth.

“The Innovation and Entrepreneur Program is a new grants program that Council has allocated funding to in its 2019-2020 budget,” Mayor Neil Trotter said.

“The aim of the program is to encourage existing businesses and start-ups in the Shire to complete new, innovative projects.

“This will benefit the businesses themselves and have flow-on effects to increase economic activity for the good of the local economy.

Cr Trotter said the program was created in response to feedback from businesses that was very little opportunity to access small amounts of funding to complete improvements to their business.

“The program has the potential to create jobs and, in turn, attract new population which will strengthen our economic future.”

Priority will be given to projects that look at new and innovative ways to do business however, all small businesses looking to complete an upgrade or looking at ways to improve how they do business are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for the program applicants must be located within the Corangamite Shire or planning to re-locate to the municipality within three months of applying for the grant and have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

Businesses can apply on a dollar-for-dollar basis to complete improvements with the amount capped at $5000 (exc. GST) per business.

Cr Trotter encouraged interested parties to call Council to discuss application requirements with a member of the Growth and Engagement team.

Applications are now open until 8 November 2019.

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