The transport industry is the backbone of any economy. It is responsible for transporting people and goods from one end of the country to the other. Given the large size of Australia, the transport industry is all the more vital for the country. Australia is a leader in transportation, encompassing all the major forms, including, aviation, rail, maritime and long-haul overland.
Australia’s maritime transportation services are known throughout the world. There are three main areas that Australia’s maritime products are famous for, these include, commercial shipbuilding, commercial repair and maintenance, and shipbuilding for defence purposes. Similarly, aviation transportation services are also world-renowned. Australian companies have been closely working with over 50 countries to help develop their aviation infrastructure. The main target market of Australian products and services is the Europe and USA. Other countries include Spain, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore.
Challenges Faced by the Transportation Industry
Despite being a historically successful industry, there are still some challenges that it faces. Moreover, like all other industries, the transportation industry has not been immune from the detrimental effects of COVID-19. Some of the challenges being faced by the industry include:
- An emerging need for digital skills with the rise in technologies and automation
- An ageing workforce which would need to be replaced to fill skill gaps
- Automation will lead to changing demands with more skilled workers needed to operate the automated transport networks.
In addition to these general problems, the pandemic brought its own challenges. When markets closed down, people resorted to online shopping. As a result, the transport industry came under heavy strain as there was a sharp rise in demand with not enough supply to meet it. Although the industry was quickly declared an essential service, in pursuance of the new rules, warehouses were instructed to decrease the size of their operations down to two-thirds of their usual workforce.
Securing Funding with Grants Assist
In response to these growing challenges, the Australian government has introduced grants to support the transportation industry. If you are a business in the transportation industry that is looking to expand or recover from pandemic related setbacks, you should get in touch with Grants Assist. The company is experienced in providing funding solutions to individuals and businesses. Their agents are well-versed in the needs of different industries and the different funding programs being run by the Australian government. While government grants usually seem to be straightforward, owing to the high number of applicants, competition is very high and guidance from experienced individuals is advised. The agents at Grants Assist will walk you through the entire process of obtaining funding. From understanding your business needs to finding the right grant for you, from collecting documents to filling in the applications, and from preparing you for interviews to securing the grant. Here is a list of grants that are available for the transportation industry that you could benefit from.
Those businesses that are thinking of expanding their operations can apply for financial assistance and secure interest-free loans up to $3,000 or up to $10,000 in low-interest seed funding. These loans have been specifically made available for small and medium enterprises. Depending on which state you are in, support is also available for tourism transport SMEs, if they employ a new worker. Business owners would be able to claim up to $5,0000 for every new apprentice or trainee they employ. Similarly, for small businesses where the owners are also the drivers, the government is providing incentives for them to hire other drivers. This should free up the owner’s time to take care of administrative tasks and also generate employment.
To take advantage of these funding schemes, the following requirements need to be complied with:
- Your business must be in a nominated business sector
- It should not be liable for payroll tax
- Must be located in the stage where the application is submitted
The government has also come with a program to help SMEs get access to professional advice and will be providing funding up to $5,000 in this regard. To be eligible under this scheme the business must be:
- Less than 4 years old
- Have a valid ABN
- And must have less than 20 employees
Funds for Purchasing Equipment
As had been mentioned above the transport industry is going through a rapid period of digitalisation, which is why there is a need to upgrade the capacity of businesses. Otherwise, they risk shutting down. To cater to the changing needs of the industry the government is providing funding of up to $10,000 in matched funds to businesses so that they can digitalise their offices. Successful businesses can utilise these funds to purchase software, hardware, or pay for digital training to improve the service that is provided to their customers. To obtain this grant, the business must meet the following requirements:
- Must be registered for GST
- Must possess a valid ABN
- Should have no more than 20 employees
- Annual turnover should not exceed 2 million
Funding for Hiring Staff
The pandemic put a lot of people out of jobs, and at the same time, there was a growing demand for employees in the transport industry. SMEs, however, were having difficulty in employing more staff due to a shortage of funds. As a response to this growing need, the government is providing a maximum of $2,000 for every employee that is hired. Persons need to be hired on a full-time basis. To be eligible for this grant, the business must possess a valid ABN. Moreover, this grant is only available when a recruit has been working with the business for at least one year.
EV Transition Plan for VIC Businesses
To ensure that Australia remains ahead of its competition, the government has introduced plans to facilitate the transition towards EV. This scheme, however, is only available to businesses in the State of Victoria. The deadline for this scheme is 21 Jan 2022. The number of funds that can be secured vary. This project has been designed to facilitate the transition of businesses to EV fleets. Through this program, EV charging stations will be planted at business locations. It will also support smart charging infrastructure technology manufacturing, installation and maintenance opportunities in the State of Victoria. To be eligible for this grant, the business:
- Must a be a commercial-for-profit, not-for-profit, or community-run organisation
- Must have fewer than 20 employees
- Must provide financial reports and other documents as evidence of the duration of the business operations
- Must possess a valid ABN
- Must be premised in Victoria.
If you think you are eligible for any of the grants that have been mentioned above, you should immediately get in touch with Grants Assist as the deadlines for these grants are approaching fast. The agents at Grants Assist would be able to provide you with more details about the grants above and also inform you about other grants that can cater to your needs. The process might seem daunting at first, but coupled with the professional advice from Grants Assist, you would be able to secure a grant for your transportation business in no time.