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What's on City of Melbourne

Small business grants

What are small business grants?

The program provides financial assistance to small businesses currently located or intending to locate within the City of Melbourne municipal boundary.

With an annual budget of $306,000, the small business grants program has funded over 320 businesses with over $7 million worth of grants since 1996.

Important dates

From July 2015 there will be one round of applications per year.

The 2015 August round grant recipients were announced in early December 2015. Find out more.

The 2016 funding round will open on Monday 4 July and close Monday 8 August.

Am I eligible?

  • You must be currently located within the City of Melbourne municipality.
  • If you are not located within the municipality, you must be planning to re-locate within the next three months.
  • You must have 20 or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
  • You must have a registered Australian Business Number.
  • You must have an appropriate legal business structure.
  • Your proposal is innovative, creative and has a strong point of difference.
  • Your proposed product/service is market-ready.
  • Your proposal delivers benefits to the City of Melbourne.
  • Your proposal is financially-viable.
  • You must be able to proceed without grant funding.

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How do I apply?

  • Online application forms for each category will go live during each funding round.
  • The next funding round will open in July 2016.
  • Please note you may only apply for one grant category per funding round.

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Grant categories

  • Start-up – Increase diversity by supporting the establishment of new and creative small businesses. Grants up to $30,000 are available.
  • Business expansion – Assist existing businesses that are introducing innovative services or products as part of their expansion phase. Grants up to $30,000 are available.
  • Export entry – Encourage and support businesses to enter and expand into new overseas markets (exporting). Grants up to $10,000 are available.
  • Business support services – Support member-based organisations to deliver new initiatives and provide significant tangible benefits to their members. Grants up to $10,000 are available.
  • Micro business – Assist business owners from marginalised target groups to establish a new business or expand their existing business. Grants up to $25,000 are available.

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Assessment criteria and process

Each application received is assessed internally and by an external assessment panel. Each application is assessed against these criteria:

  • Innovation and creativity (30%)
  • Business readiness (25%)
  • Financial viability (20%)
  • Benefits to the City of Melbourne (20%)
  • Ethical and other considerations (5%)

A shortlist of applicants recommended for funding are then presented to Council for formal approval. Once approved, each applicant is informed of the outcome and the grant recipients are publicly announced.

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More information and help

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Current recipients



What the grant supports

Bastion Cycles Pty Ltd


The development of a 3D printed, custom engineered, high performance road bicycle manufacturing plant, and an online frame customisation design tool.

Cargone Couriers

Business expansion

The set-up of a bicycle courier consolidation hub and associated activities.



The establishment of the first rooftop futsal pitch in the City of Melbourne.



An innovative platform that enables users to digitally store, manage and verify their qualifications in one secure online account.

El Cielo Foods Pty Ltd

Business expansion

The establishment of a purpose-made nixtamal plant and corn mill.

FM Innovations Pty Ltd

Export entry

A promotional video in Mandarin, and for website development to display Mandarin.

Game Developers' Association of Australia

Business expansion

The introduction of a dedicated student skills development program.



The development of a new online company that produces and sells bespoke 3D printed hero figurines.

Home Economics Victoria

Business support services

Website development activities to ensure effective service delivery to members.

Museums Australia (Victoria) Inc

Business support services

Website development activities, to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.


Micro business start-up

Accessibility of the business website for mobile devices and for the business owner to receive business management skills training.

Samurai Punk Pty Ltd

Business expansion

Software licensing and purchase of hardware to further develop and test Screencheat’s multiplayer capacity.

Snobal Pty Ltd


Website enhancement activities and purchase of specialised IT equipment for the development of a platform where retailers can customise 3D shopping environments.

The Eternal Headonist

Business expansion

A new retail space in Melbourne and a virtual fitting room functionality on its website.

Unified Parking Pty Ltd


The development of a new smartphone mobile app that offers intelligent parking solutions to consumers and business operators.
  • Read the media release from Tuesday 7 July announcing the small business grant recipients for the March 2015 round.
  • Previous grant recipients have achieved some amazing results with the assistance of our small business grants. Find out more.

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Don’t pay for free grants information

Message from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

If you are considering applying for a grant, please be careful of cold-callers or websites that charge for grant-related services when such assistance is already available for free.

Visit the ACCC for information and tips on how to protect your business or project.

If you have queries about the City of Melbourne’s grant application processes, please contact us.