Big grants for textile businesses
CLEVER and creative small businesses in the Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) sector can apply for Federal Government grants of up to $50,000 for business improvement projects.
Opening the round today, Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, and Manufacturing Minister Senator Kim Carr said the grants - totalling $2.5 million - would help small businesses in the TCF sector improve their operations.
"Around 42,000 people are employed in TCF manufacturing - many in small and medium sized businesses. It is an important and highly competitive sector of the economy," Mr Combet said.
"These grants will help Australian firms improve their productivity and give them an edge to compete with overseas based manufacturers," Senator Carr said.
"The TCF sector faces challenges - in particular from cheap manufacturing overseas. The Gillard Labor Government understands the importance of tackling these challenges, strengthening manufacturing and improving productivity and competitiveness in the TCF sector.
"Innovation is the key to turning challenges into opportunity. This latest round of grants is part of a $406 million total package to transform the TCF sector.
"This investment will help maintain and grow a vibrant TCF sector as well as securing and creating high-wage, high-skill jobs for Australians."
Since 2005 the TCF SBP has distributed $15 million to over 400 small TCF businesses that manufacture in Australia, or design for manufacture in Australia.
The grants will be awarded to support projects in areas of marketing and branding, process and strategy improvement, supply chains, e-commerce and export opportunity development.
"It is the enterprising and innovative businesses that will become the next generation of Australia's leading manufacturers and designers," Mr Combet said.
Applications for Round 7 close on 24 February 2012.
AusIndustry will run workshops nationally to assist businesses applying for the program in early February 2011. Businesses can register for these workshops on AusIndustry's website.