An A$18 million funding for an
Australia-wide program to help family and small businesses build their digital
capability will be allocated according to the Australian Government.
Minister for Small and
Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Mr Craig Laundy said that this would provide businesses
with access to high-quality advice from proven providers for a minimal fee.
He added, “The Australian Government is
investing in small businesses to help them create jobs, harness opportunities
and grow in the digital economy, with a major focus on regional areas.”
“Research shows small businesses that are digitally
engaged are more likely to grow their revenue and up to eight times more likely
to create new jobs,” he explained.
Minister Laundy said the funding was being
provided through the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) ,
which is a long running program being re-booted to focus on building digital
ASBAS is a business advisory service
provider that delivers low cost, high quality, digital advisory services to
Australian small businesses in the metropolitan and regional areas.
Advisory services will include assessment
of small businesses’ needs, tailored digital engagement plans, and support in
relation to one or more of the priority digital capabilities including websites
and selling online, social media and digital marketing, using small business
software, and online security and data privacy.
Mr Laundy explained, “We know small
business operators are busy people who sometimes struggle to adopt new
technology. We also know how critical it is for them to keep up with
technological change. That is why we have refocused ASBAS support away from
general business advisory services to target digital capabilities.”
He added, “Our Small Business Digital
Taskforce found only one in five small businesses has a digital business
strategy. That is why we are giving them the skills and confidence they need to
embrace digital opportunities.”
He furthered, “ASBAS Digital Solutions will
fill a gap by offering small businesses low-cost and easy to understand advice
on a range of digital solutions to meet their business needs."
Minister Laundy said three major providers would
share a total of $18.02m in this round. They are Penrith City and District
Business Advisory Centre Limited (NSW/ACT), Business Station Incorporated
(QLD/NT/WA), and Darebin Enterprise Centre Limited (SA/VIC/TAS).
They will work with smaller providers where
necessary to deliver services to business in every state and territory.
Services will be delivered in ways to suit each business, including one-on-one
direct support, remotely online, or by phone, as well as interactive webinars
“We will closely monitor ASBAS to make sure
it continues to deliver what Australian small businesses need. Success will be
measured by the number of small businesses that feel more confident to adopt
digital technologies and services. I’ll know the program is providing good
value for money if small business owners are recommending the service to
others,” Minister Laundy said.