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Free advice on government grants for small business

No matter what your industry, there are a variety of government grants and incentives to help you grow your business. The key is getting legitimate advice about which are the best fit for your business, and how to apply for them.

What funding is available for small businesses?

Whether you’re starting out or a well-established business, government agencies offer a range of support — from mentoring and grants to capability building — to help small businesses succeed.

A common misunderstanding is that there is lots of cash available for any business. This is not the case. Government grants tend to be for small numbers of businesses in key sectors that have demonstrated they meet given criteria.

Instead most government programmes aim to help by boosting your skills and knowledge, rather than cash handouts. Where funding is available, often it is co-funded, so you’ll have to invest at least as much money as you are given.

Research and development (R&D) funding, managed by Callaghan Innovation. There are a range of grants to meet business needs – whether you are a young start-up or an established R&D performer.
Callaghan Innovation  (external link)

Business advisory services, available through the Regional Business Partner Network, funded by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) and Callaghan Innovation. Business advisors work with local business owners to give advice, support and access to funding for business growth initiatives.
Regional Business Partner Network (external link)

Capability development vouchers, delivered by the Regional Business Partner Network. These can be used to co-fund the cost of management training, and are available to businesses with less than 50 full-time employees.

If your company wants to expand overseas, or grow its export market, call NZTE on 0800 555 888 if you’re not already working with this government agency. While specific grants aren’t available for exporters, co-funding may be available as part of a planned package of services.
Export essentials - NZTE guides (external link)

Be vigilant about non-government websites that offer to help with government grant applications.

Be vigilant about non-government websites that offer to help with government grant applications.

The Commerce Commission recently warned (external link)  against paying organisations for grant-finding assistance.

How to find out if you’re eligible for funding

Only trust online grants information that comes directly from the New Zealand Government or its agencies. Remember:

  • Information about government financial support for businesses is available for free online or by calling the relevant government agency.
  • Genuine New Zealand government websites end in “.govt.nz”.
  • Be wary of websites with URLs ending in “.org” and those claiming they can help you secure grant funding.
  • Do not give these websites your credit card details.

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