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New $24 million Small Business Answers program.



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Media Release The Hon Joe Hockey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

2 September 2002 02/170

NEW $24 MILLION SMALL BUSINESS ANSWERS PROGRAM

Applications are now being sought for a new competitive grants program, the $24 million Small Business Answers program - part of the Federal Government’s $60 million Small Business Assistance program - aimed at fostering the growth of small businesses across Australia, particularly in regional areas.

The Small Business Answers program provides on the ground support and advice for small businesses through field officers in their local area.

Successful grant applicants will deliver advisory services to small business owners and managers across Australia.

Under this new competitive grants program, any incorporated organisation can apply for a grant to establish an appropriate advisory service for small businesses in their region, as long as they are able to demonstrate that there is a need for such a service. Applications close on 8 October 2002.

The Government recognises the important economic and social role played by small business and is committed to helping small businesses grow and achieve their full potential. This program will improve the capacity of small business owner/managers to access relevant information and advice on programs and services offered by the Commonwealth Government.

As part of the May 2002 Budget, the Government provided $24 million over four years to fund advisory services to small business and to help them to access Commonwealth Government programs and assistance.

A review of the pilot initiative by the Office of Small Business found that the initiative had generated good outcomes. This new program targets small businesses in regions where there is a need for such a service.

Contact: Further information can be found on the AusIndustry website www.ausindustry.gov.au or by calling the AusIndustry Hotline on 132846.

Media contact: Sasha Grebe, Ph: 0408 974 349

CMR02-218