What is there for startups and SMEs?
South Australia’s 2021 budget, unveiled this week, shows state facing record deficit of $ 1.78 billion, as treasurer Rob Lucas laid out costly plans for post-pandemic recovery .
In his speech, Lucas said that in the six months since the last budget was tabled, the state has experienced “a significant economic recovery as thousands of businesses reopen.”
However, he added that “there is still work to be done,” saying the high cost budget defines a new approach to economic growth.
So what’s in South Australia‘s budget for small businesses and startups?
Social security tax exemption for apprentices
The state government is investing $ 4 million over two years to extend payroll tax exemptions to eligible apprentices and trainees.
The exemptions apply to any worker starting a new contract for a relevant training program before June 30 of next year and continue for 12 months from the apprentice or trainee’s start date.
This measure is intended to complement apprenticeship wage subsidy programs previously announced by state and federal governments.
It is intended to help meet the demand for labor created by a $ 16.7 billion spending on infrastructure, which South Australian Prime Minister Steven Marshall says is “driving a wave of job creation. ‘jobs’.
“Businesses need a skilled workforce to take full advantage of the opportunities offered,” the prime minister said in a statement.
Small Business Capacity Program
Over four years, $ 2.6 million will be invested in South Australia’s Small Business Capability Program.
The funding is intended to help small business owners develop new skills and capabilities, including in digital and cybersecurity, to help them enter the domestic commercial market and boost interstate exports.
This also includes $ 350,000 to spend over the next year to improve the digital resources available to small business owners.
Large state tourism vouchers
Over the next 12 months, the state government will contribute an additional $ 4 million in additional rounds of its Great State Tourism Voucher program, intended to encourage travel within the state, including to Adelaide.
This is funded by the reallocation of resources from the South Australia Tourism Commission.
Lot fourteen upgrade
The state government has also committed $ 20.8 million over the next 12 months to modernize the Lot Fourteen innovation center, to enable the expansion of space startups, as well as other digital, cyber businesses. and technology “in a collaborative setting,” Stevens said. .
Boost to the space sector
South Australia’s budget allocates $ 860,000 over three years to expand the Defense and Space Landing Pad program, which provides subsidized office space and access to expert assistance for companies providing space and space capabilities. defense to the state.
The space sector will also receive a boost of $ 6.6 million over five years for the local manufacture of a satellite to improve “space services” in South Australia, which is expected to be launched in mid-July. 2022.
An additional $ 2.5 million will also be invested over four years in the Defense Innovation Partnership, including an “activator” fund to support large-scale R&D in the defense and space sectors.
Support for the export of wines
South Australia’s wine industry will receive $ 5.4 million over four years to support export growth and diversification of priority markets.
Parisian commercial hub
Some $ 1.8 million is expected to be invested over four years to establish a Europe-focused trade hub in Paris, with the aim of improving international trade and investment opportunities.
Focus on growing sectors
The government of South Australia has also praised some growing tech industries.
It pledges $ 1.5 million over two years to build a commercial seaweed industry. This will fund large-scale testing and trials, as well as the development of a “hatchery capacity” of the algae Asparagopsis, which can be used in livestock feed to reduce methane emissions from animals.
The government will also spend $ 2 million over the next 12 months to establish the Waite Plant-Based Food Incubator Laboratory, focused on the research and development of herbal ingredients.
And $ 1.6 million will be spent over four years to develop an artificial intelligence and health technology hub. This includes $ 985,000 in grants available for startups working on health-related AI solutions, and $ 589,000 for “project support activities”.