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Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups

Support for metropolitan and regional business chambers and trader groups to help their members transition into COVID Normal.

Program overview

The $3 million Grants for Business Chambers and Trader Groups program provides funding to Victorian business chambers and trader groups for initiatives that will help support their members as we move into recovery and COVID Normal.

Grants of $10,000, $20,000 or $50,000 will be awarded to eligible groups through a competitive application process.

Preliminary applications are now open

Interested Victorian business chambers and trader groups are invited to submit an expression of interest by completing and submitting the form on this page no later than 12 October 2020.

Eligible groups will then be invited to provide a detailed project proposal for further assessment.

Please read all the information on this page, including program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs), before submitting your initial proposal.

Business Chamber and Trader Groups Funding Guidelines (DOCX 1544.36 KB)DOCX icon

Frequently asked questions

Eligible business chambers or trader groups

To be eligible for the grant, the business chamber or trader group must:

  • Be based in Victoria
  • Be a non-profit, business membership-based organisation (with a membership of businesses) that services a specific geographic area (e.g. a business zone, suburb or region)
  • Have the core purpose of acting for its members and promoting commerce in a specific geographic area
  • Hold a current Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 13 September 2020
  • Be registered with the responsible federal or state regulator or with the relevant local council.

Grant amounts

Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis at the following amounts:

  • $10,000 for smaller organisations
  • $20,000 or $50,000 for larger or more significant organisations.

A business chamber or trader group is only eligible for one grant from this program and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) reserves the right to determine the allocation of their grant value. 

Whether organisations will be determined for the purposes of the grant as a smaller, larger or more significant organisation will be at the Department’s discretion.

When making this determination, the Department will take into consideration factors such as membership size, the strategic importance of the organisation to the local economy, the financial capacity, the delivery capability and the services already provided by the organisation to member businesses.

How the grants must be used

Grant funds must be used to support their members to recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through activities such as:

  • Boosting access and knowledge of the Victorian Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) business recovery information, programs and services
  • Supporting and encouraging local business collaboration activities to help members adapt their businesses to the new COVID Normal
  • ‘Buy local’ campaigns
  • Upgrading the group’s digital channels
  • Undertake local activities to support local businesses' resilience and recovery.

Key dates

12 October 2020: Business chambers and trader groups must have submitted an expression of interest by this date.

Week commencing 19 October 2020: Invitations to provide a detailed project proposal for assessment are sent to eligible applicants.

31 March 2021 or when funds are exhausted (whichever is earlier): program closes.

How to apply

Business chambers and trader groups are invited to submit an expression of interest by completing and submitting the form.

All questions in the application must be completed and any requested documentation attached to ensure a timely assessment.

Please read all the information on this page, including program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs), before submitting your initial proposal.

Business Chamber and Trader Groups Funding Guidelines (DOCX 1544.36 KB)DOCX icon

More information

For further assistance please contact us or call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

The Business Victoria coronavirus (COVID-19) business information page also provides information on other support and resources.

Frequently asked questions

The objective of this Program is to support initiatives run by business chambers and trader groups that:

  • Enable local business collaboration
  • Help members access support, including Victorian Government supports; and
  • Help members transition into recovery and restart.

With some businesses struggling to pay membership fees because of the coronavirus (COIVD-19) pandemic, these grants will help business chambers and trader groups run projects to support local businesses to survive and transition to COVID Normal.

Local chambers of commerce and trader groups play a critical leadership role in their local communities, bringing businesses together and empowering them with advice, connections and resources. These groups offer businesses the opportunity to jointly market to their local community and pool resources to reduce their individual costs.

Funding is allocated via a two-step process. Business chambers and trader groups submit a preliminary application form on the Business Vic website. After a preliminary assessment, eligible applicants will be invited to provide a detailed project proposal.

An assessment panel will assess all applications against the following criteria:

  • How well the project supports the objectives of the program
  • How well the project supports the applicant’s members through the current coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and in preparing for economic recovery
  • The capacity or capability of the applicant to successfully implement the project
  • Why the project needs government support to proceed.

This program supports business chamber and trader groups of all sizes. When determining the size of the organisation, DJPR may take into consideration factors such as membership size, number of employees, the catchment area of the group and the strategic importance of the organisation to the local economy.

The Department reserves the right to determine the allocation of the grant value provided to successful applicants.

Grant funds must be used to support their members’ survival and recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Examples of this are activities such as:

  • Boosting access and knowledge of the Victorian Government’s coronavirus (COVID-19) business recovery information, programs and services
  • Supporting and encouraging local business collaboration activities to help members adapt their businesses to the new COVID Normal
  • Running a ‘Buy local’ campaign
  • Upgrading the chamber’s digital channels
  • Undertaking local activities to support local businesses' resilience and recovery.

These examples are not exhaustive. Groups are encouraged to submit a proposal which address the needs of their local business community.

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