Release type: Media Release


Helping Australian small businesses grow by going digital


The Hon Craig Laundy MP
Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation
Member for Reid

The Turnbull Government today announced funding of $18m towards a new Australia-wide program helping family and small businesses build their digital capability.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy, said businesses would have access to high-quality advice from proven providers for a minimal fee.

“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.”

Mr Laundy said the funding was being provided through the Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) – a long running program now being re-booted to focus on building digital capabilities.

“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.

“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.

“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."

Mr Laundy said three major providers would share a total of $18.02m in this round (see below table). 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 and workshops.

“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,” Mr Laundy said.

ASBAS Digital Solutions: grant amount and coverage area

Area 2017–18 2018–19 2019-20 2020-21 TOTAL
Penrith City and District Business Advisory Centre Limited (NSW/ACT) $1.02 million $2.00 million $2.07 million $1.00 million $6.09 million
Business Station Incorporated (QLD/NT/WA) $1.00 million $1.78 million $2.00 million $0.90 million $5.68 million
Darebin Enterprise Centre Limited (SA/VIC/TAS) $1.07 million $2.01 million $2.16 million $1.01 million $6.25 million