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Small Business Digital Adaptation Program

Helping Victorian small businesses build their digital capability.

Program overview

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will allow eligible businesses to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training they can use to build digital capability in their day-to-day operations.

Businesses can start using a new product, like point-of-sale payment, or restore access to a lapsed product under this program. Upgrades to existing digital tools, like adding a shop to a current website, are also included.

Products currently available to businesses through this program include website, e-commerce, finance and digital business management tools.

Businesses will be able to register, and trial selected digital products from suppliers who have partnered with the Victorian Government, then choose one of these products to purchase.

Once businesses have purchased a product, they can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access the product for 12 months.

The program also offers free digital adaptation training and workshops to help registered businesses adopt and implement online tools in their business.

Spaces for the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program are limited.

You must register to be eligible for the program and access digital product suppliers.

Read the information on this page, the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) before you register.

Guidelines

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program guidelines (PDF 312.65 KB)PDF icon

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program guidelines | accessible version (DOCX 1553.17 KB)DOCX icon

Registrations will remain open until funds are exhausted or until 11.59pm on 28 February 2021, whichever is earlier.

Register now →

Digital product supplier Expression of Interest (EOI) →

What support is available?

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will help businesses to embed the use of practical digital tools that support their trading model and performance.

Through the program, businesses can register to trial selected digital business management tools to adapt websites, transition to e-commerce and manage finances, from suppliers who have partnered with the Victorian Government.

After the trial period, registered businesses can purchase a product they have trialed and apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access that product for 12 months.

Registered businesses must purchase or subscribe to a digital product available under this program before applying for the rebate. Proof of purchase will be required.

Businesses will need to pay the ongoing costs of access to their digital product after the first 12 months covered by the rebate.

The program also offers free digital adaptation training and workshops to help registered businesses adopt and implement digital tools in their business.

What are the eligibility requirements for this program?

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program is for small businesses, sole trader, and micro businesses. To be eligible for the program an applicant must:

  • operate a business located in Victoria
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have held that ABN on 13 September 2019
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on 13 September 2020.

Not-for-profit entities that are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply.  

Businesses that are not required by relevant taxation legislation to be registered for GST are eligible to apply.

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria and agree to the conditions outlined in the program guidelines.

Applicants also need to attest that they are currently operating and intend to adapt their business to a digital operating environment.

Businesses will be ineligible for the program if any information in their application is found to be deliberately false or misleading.

To qualify for a purchase rebate the business must purchase a digital product available under the program.

An eligible business, as defined by its ABN, can only receive one purchase rebate of $1,200 to cover 12 months’ access to a digital product available under this program.

How does the program work?

To progress through the program, businesses need to follow three steps:

  1. Complete the online registration form to confirm eligibility and participate in product trials and workshops.
  2. Sign up for and purchase their preferred digital product through one of the partner product suppliers available under this program.
  3. Apply for the purchase rebate of $1,200 to cover 12 months’ access to the product of choice.

Digital product suppliers

The Victorian Government is currently partnering with six digital product suppliers for this program. These include:

  • Mr Yum — food and beverage
  • MYOB — business management
  • Xero — business management
  • Shopify — end-to-end retail
  • Square — end-to-end retail
  • Squarespace — website creation

An expression of interest process for additional product suppliers is currently underway, with more suppliers expected to be added to the list in December 2020.

If you are a digital product or service supplier interested in partnering with the Victorian Government to provide your products and services to Victorian businesses go to our EOI registration page to find out more.

Please note: businesses need to register for the program in order to be considered for a $1,200 rebate for any purchase from these suppliers.

How do I register for trials and workshops?

You will need to complete the online registration form by answering a series of short questions. You may be contacted after you register to verify the information provided and ensure your eligibility for the program.

Registration will be confirmed by email which will include a dedicated website link where information is available about training and workshops, as well as digital product trials and purchase.

After you have registered you can complete unlimited workshops and multiple digital product trials until 28 February 2021.

How do I progress through the program?

You must register to be eligible for the program.

You can access unlimited free training and workshops and multiple free product trials after you register.

You will be invited by email to apply for a purchase rebate one month after registering.

This is a purchase rebate program. You must sign up for and purchase an available digital product before you apply.

The rebate application is an online form. All questions should be answered and information provided to ensure your eligibility for a rebate. This includes proof of your digital product purchase.

You will be contacted by email six weeks after you apply for a rebate to confirm you have begun to adapt your business to a digital operating environment. Your rebate will be paid after you confirm continued product use.

You will be contacted to participate in an evaluation survey after six and 12 months to help us understand the program impact.

You will need to pay the ongoing costs following the first 12 months covered by the program.

What does the program cover?

Products chosen by eligible businesses must be:

  • a new product not currently used by the business, or
  • an upgrade of an existing product with additional product features providing specific digital adaptation capability (for example, upgrading an existing website to an e-commerce site), or
  • a product available under the program that has been used by the business before (more than one year ago) that it would like to resume using.

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will not cover the cost of:

  • renewals of existing product or software licences, or
  • minor updates to existing products (for example, a software version update), or
  • products that are not available under the program.

Registered businesses can participate in training and workshops shown in the training calendar available on the dedicated program page after registering.

Businesses who have existing products and software purchased outside of this program are also able to attend workshops promoted via the Business Victoria website.

Key program dates

The program will be open from 15 November 2020 to 31 March 2021.

Registrations for digital product trials and workshops will remain open from 15 November 2020 until 28 February 2021.

To participate in the program, businesses must register before the trial period closes on 28  February 2021.

Applications for purchase rebates to cover 12 months’ product access will be open from 1 December 2020 to 11.59pm on 31 March 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

More information

The $1,200 purchase rebate is equivalent to at least 12 months’ access to a digital tool available under this program. Access costs for foreign currency and sales percentage products will vary depending on exchange rates and use.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions reserves the right to amend these guidelines and application terms at any time.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions will endeavour to notify all businesses of the outcome of their purchase rebate application within 10 business days.

If you have questions about this program, please refer to the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program frequently asked questions (FAQs).  

For further assistance please contact us or call 13 22 15.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Are not-for-profits eligible to apply?

Yes. Not-for-profit entities that are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply.

Why do I have to register?

Businesses must register for the program to be eligible for the purchase rebate. Program places are limited. By registering DJPR can notify you of important updates, including when new suppliers join the program and updates to workshops and training, that will occur every two weeks. We will also send your rebate application link to your registered email.

I’ve registered, why haven’t I received a response email?

Please check your spam, junk mail and deleted items folders as some automated emails can be filtered out by your email server.

If you can’t find the email in any of these folders, you may have entered your email address incorrectly when you registered. You can resubmit the registration form and should receive a registration confirmation with Small Business Digital Adaptation Program information.

I’ve tried to register but received a message saying I may not be eligible. What are my other options?

This pop-up message contains a link to the Business Victoria grants page that has information about other programs you may be eligible for.

I believe I am eligible for the program, so why haven’t I been able to register?

To register you must complete the registration form and answer a series of short questions.

If you answered ‘no’ to the ‘are you registered for GST’ question, you may register by answering ‘exempt’ to this question if:

  • you are a non-for-profit entity that is not registered for GST and is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission, or
  • you are a business that is not required by relevant taxation legislation to be registered for GST.

Please phone Business Victoria on 13 22 15 for help with registering.

If I register, can I cancel at any time without penalty?

There is no cost to register for the program and all training, workshops and digital product trials are provided for free. You will need to check with the individual product provider about the duration, time, or credit available as part of your trial.

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including cancellation fees before you sign up and purchase.

If you want to cancel after purchase, please discuss this with the product provider to see if there is anything, they can do to resolve any issues you are experiencing.

Do I need to provide my credit card details to start my free trial?

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including any credit card requirement, before you sign up for a trial. You will not be required to pay for your trial, though some product suppliers ask for credit card details to access the free trial.

Product trials last from two weeks to one month. You will only be charged if you continue using the product after completing the trial or using all your free credit.

Do I need to purchase the product to access the Victorian government rebate?

Yes. Once you have completed your trial period and have chosen the product you would like to access for 12 months, you will need to sign up and make your purchase.

Evidence of product purchase or subscription is required to complete the rebate application for the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program. This could include an invoice, email confirmation of payment or credit card statement.

For more details on eligibility and process, please refer to the program guidelines.

When do applications for the rebate open?

Applications for the purchase rebate are open from 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021, or until funds are exhausted. We will contact you by email one month after you register for the program inviting you to make an application for a purchase rebate. Funds are limited so don’t delay your application.

What evidence do I need to provide when I apply for a rebate?

Please note, this is a purchase rebate program and you must sign up for and purchase one of the digital products available under the program before applying for a rebate. If you purchase a product or service prior to registration, the cost will not be eligible for a rebate.

For more details on eligibility and process, please refer to the program guidelines.

What happens after I get my rebate?

You will be contacted to participate in an evaluation survey after six and 12 months. This is important to help understand the effectiveness and impact of the program. Survey completion is a requirement of participation in the program.

What if my purchase rebate application is unsuccessful?

If you are unsuccessful in your application for a purchase rebate, you can continue trialling other products on offer, attend the training and workshops, and to access products at your own cost.

For more details on eligibility and process, please refer to the program guidelines.

I’ve been deemed ineligible for the program after submitting my application. Will the Victorian Government repay my money?

Every effort will be made to ensure that registered businesses are eligible before they are invited to purchase a digital product and apply for a rebate. You may be contacted after you register to verify the information provided and ensure your eligibility for the program.

You may be deemed ineligible for other reasons, including failure to provide proof of purchase, purchase of a product not available under the program or discontinuing product use after purchase.
If you are deemed ineligible for the purchase rebate the Victorian Government will not be able to repay money you have spent on a product.

For more details on eligibility and process, please refer to the program guidelines or contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

Will the $1,200 reimbursement definitely cover the total cost of this program? What happens when my rebate runs out?

The purchase rebate is equivalent to at least 12 months’ access to digital products available under this program. Access costs for foreign currency and sales percentage products will vary depending on exchange rates and use.

After your rebate runs out, you can cancel or continue to access the product you have been using at your own cost.

When will I receive my purchase rebate?

You will be contacted by email six weeks after you apply for a rebate to confirm you have begun to adapt your business to a digital operating environment and established product use. The Victorian Government will pay your rebate after receiving your confirmation of continued product use. You will pay the ongoing costs of access to your digital product after fully utilising the rebate.

What if I change my mind and want to swap to another product provider after I have signed up?

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including cancellation fees before you sign up and purchase.

You may be able to negotiate directly with the product supplier to switch your plan if your business needs change.

If you still want to change to another digital product, you must ask your current supplier to cancel your service. Please ensure your cancellation is confirmed before notifying the Victorian Government of the change by email to dap@business.vic.gov.au.

What if there is a rebate balance after I cancel my service?

You should use the balance of your rebate to purchase your preferred digital product. You will not be reimbursed for your initial purchase. You must use the rebate to purchase a digital product available under the program or repay the unused amount on demand.

What if I want to cancel my product access, do I have to pay back the outstanding money or a cancellation fee?

You should check with the digital product supplier about terms and conditions, including cancellation fees before you sign up and purchase.

If you want to cancel after purchase, please discuss this with the product provider to see if there is anything, they can do to resolve any issues you are experiencing.

If you still want to cancel, you will need to notify your current provider and the Victorian Government of the change by email to dap@business.vic.gov.au. You must use the rebate to purchase a digital product available under the program or repay the unused amount on demand.

What if the product or service I want to sign up for is more than $1,200?

You are able to choose a product that costs more than $1,200, however you will only receive a rebate for from the Victorian government for $1,200.

I’m having trouble with my product provider, who can I get in touch with?

All product providers on this program have agreed to a standard set of principles, including providing access to the product, training and customer support during the trial and subscription/access period.

If you are experiencing difficulties with the product provider and they are unable to resolve your issue, you may wish to contact an appropriate regulatory authority, such as Consumer Affairs Victoria to escalate the issue.

I’m not happy with the product I’m receiving, will the Victorian Government repay my money?

You will need to discuss this with the product provider in the first instance to see if there is anything they can do to resolve any issues you are experiencing. If you are unable to resolve your concern and still want to cancel, we encourage you to explore one of the other listed product providers to continue with the program.

You will need to notify your current provider of the cancellation and contact the Victorian Government by email dap@business.vic.gov.au to advise you have chosen a new product supplier. You must use the rebate to purchase a digital product available under the program or repay the unused amount on demand.

There’s a product I’d like to try, but it’s not listed. What are my options?

We are currently running an Expression of Interest to encourage more product providers to join the program. New product providers will be added to the Business Victoria page by 31 December 2020. We will update you when new digital products are added.

When will there be other product providers listed on the page?

We are currently running an Expression of Interest to encourage more product providers to join the program. New product providers will be added to the Business Victoria page by 31 December 2020.  We will update you when new digital products are added.

Will the digital product I have subscribed to automatically renew after the initial 12 month term covered by the rebate?

You can continue to access your digital product after the initial 12 months at your own cost. Most providers charge a monthly subscription/access fee. You will need to make billing arrangements with the provider or cancel your subscription/access.

How do I access workshops and training?

Workshops and training are available to support your business in adapting to digital operations. After you register for this program, you will have access to a dedicated Small Business Digital Adaptation webpage which includes information on a wide range of free workshops and training options.

Registration

Complete and submit the form below to register for the program.

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