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City of Melbourne funds diverse, innovative business

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THE City of Melbourne is encouraging unique and creative businesses of all kinds to apply for its next round of small business grants.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the funding program recognised the diversity and innovation small businesses bring to Melbourne, and the contribution they make to the city’s economy and job market.

"We now have 13,700 small businesses in Melbourne, making up 83 per cent of all businesses in the municipality," the Lord Mayor said.

“Over the past decade the City of Melbourne has allocated $8 million in grants to more than 360 businesses, many of which have gone on to achieve local and international success.

“Our support of small businesses and social enterprises has led to more than $70.9 million in turnover and more than 900 new jobs in the past decade.”

Businesses can apply for up to $30,000 towards start-up or expansion or for a grant of up to $10,000 to enter into the export market or towards providing business support services. The program is open to all industries, as long as the business is located in or planning to relocate to the City of Melbourne.

Small Business, Retail and Hospitality Portfolio Chair Councillor Susan Riley said the City of Melbourne has a long history of supporting small businesses.

"We deliver more than 50 services that can help Melbourne businesses. We aim to keep pace with how the business world is changing, supporting collaborative and sustainable ways of working to spark innovation and accelerate development,” Cr Riley said.

Applications for the grants close at midnight on Monday, 7 August 2017. Businesses can apply at www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/smallbusinessgrants.

Previous grant recipients include:

  • Nexvet, a biotechnology company that researches pain medication for pets, received a $30,000 grant in 2013 to fit out its office in Melbourne. On 10 July 2017, shareholders approved the acquisition of Nexvet by the world’s largest animal health company, Zoetis, for US$85 million.
  • Infiniti Technology received a start-up grant to boost development and distribution of their TouchOne keyboard, the first dedicated smartwatch keyboard compatible with square or circular-shaped devices.

The Eternal Hedonist received an expansion grant to create a virtual space online in which customers could try on their range of hats.

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