*Applications have now closed for the COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grants*


Council Boosts Business Grant Funding

NEWS UPDATE: Thursday 10 September

Last night Council resolved to commit an additional $300,000 towards the Business Recovery Grants Program to continue supporting businesses through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last month $250,000 in grants was awarded to 107 businesses in Merri-bek. The application process was very competitive with Council receiving 665 applications that were assessed against a set of criteria.

Due to the overwhelming number of strong applicants, the unsuccessful applications will be reassessed and the additional $300,000 will be awarded in $2,000 grants to the next highest scoring applications.

The additional funding will be added to Merri-bek Council’s $525,000 ‘Boost for Business’ COVID-19 resilience and recovery package, which focuses on restoring the economic, social and emotional wellbeing of the business community. This brings the total value of business support Council is providing to $825,000.

Successful grant recipients will be notified via email in the coming days. We will not be accepting new applicants for the grants.

For further information, please email the Economic Development Unit.


Council Responds with Grants Funding

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Merri-bek City Council is providing $300,000 in grants to help local businesses impacted adversely by the economic implications of COVID-19.

  • $250,000 total funding pool is available for the COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grants. These grants will fund small scale projects and initiatives to boost your business opportunities during COVID-19 and into the future
  • $50,000 total funding pool is available for business accessibility improvements.

COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grants

These grants are part of Council’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its Boost for Business package. The grants have been developed to assist businesses to invest in projects to stay viable through the current COVID-19 environment and emerge stronger through the recovery phase.

Two levels of grants are available:

  • $2K (plus GST) grants; and 
  • $5K (plus GST) grants aim to provide a boost to your business through funding more detailed projects.

The projects could fund marketing or online initiatives, purchase of e-commerce tools, service and product development or other small-scale projects.

Each business can only apply for one grant (ie $2k or $5K).

Key dates

  • Applications open 15 July 2020 at 9am
  • Applications close 9 August 2020 at 11.59pm (Applications are now closed)
  • Funding will be distributed from 3 September
  • Successful applicants’ proposed activity should be completed by 31 December 2020

Who can apply?

The grants are open to businesses operating in the City of Merri-bek. Applications must provide the following to be eligible:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN);
  • Be registered in the City of Merri-bek or you must be able to provide proof of being based and operating in the City of Merri-bek;
  • Have public liability insurance cover for $5m that provides appropriate coverage for the proposed activities.

Grants could be used for:

  • Costs associated with online and e-commerce activities  - these costs may include the purchase of information technology hardware, software, website design (development or redevelopment); e-commerce platform development or improvements (selling online and receiving payments); online content development (e.g. web pages, plugins, mobile apps).

  • Costs associated with investment in alternative service delivery models or improvements - these costs could include purchase of equipment or consultancy advice.

  • Costs associated with investment in new communications, media and marketing initiatives. These costs may include, for example, digital marketing, promotion, audio or visual media.

  • Costs associated with other projects that you can demonstrate align with funding priorities. 

How do I apply?


Applications are made online by completing a form through SmartyGrants. To successfully submit an application, you must ensure all relevant sections of the application form are completed and attachments are included.

1. Read the ‘COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grant Guidelines’ and familiarise yourself with the
    COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grant questions 

2. Check your eligibility. 
3. Seek quotes for your proposal.
4. Access the application online at Moreland Smartygrant
5. Complete the online application and attach all supporting documentation (e.g. Project Plan, quotes)
6. Submit your application online by the due date.

Supporting Documents

1. COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grant Guidelines (PDF 1Mb)
COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grant Project Plan Example (DOC 36Kb)

Grant writing workshop

Business Merri-bek is providing a ‘’How To Write a Business Grant’ webinar for businesses who would like to learn how to write effective grant applications.

Date: Thursday 30 July 2020
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm 
Register your place

More information

Council officers cannot provide advice on project ideas, costs etc.

Requests that relate to funding guidelines, dates, etc must be in writing. All requests must be emailed to business@moreland.vic.gov.au. The subject of the email must be: ‘URGENT REQUEST FOR INFORMATION – COVID-19 Community and Business Development Grants

For any general questions call the Business Hotline on 03 8311 4131

For technical support contact the SmartyGrants support desk 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday on 03 9320 6888 or by email service@smartygrants.com.au


Other Merri-bek Grants