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The Application dates for the 2022 Business Queensland : Business Basics $5,000 Grant have come and gone – with a mixed reaction from Small Business Owners… but the majority aren’t happy with the process at all.

This post provides an overview of the grant, the application process and some of the experiences of Queensland small businesses trying to work with it.

Business Basics Grant

The Business Basics Grant is a $5,000 fully funded grant available to Queensland Small Businesses with the aim of giving their business a boost. The first round for SEQ Businesses was originally offered in 2021 and was fully subscribed within 3 hours, Round 2, to Regional Qld businesses was open for about a month before applications closed.

The latest Round was initially scheduled for applications to open at 9AM on 4th May 2022… however as a result of “unprecedented technical issues” which caused a failure of the SmartyGrants online application process, this was postponed nearly 2 weeks to 16/17 May… We are not really sure why Business Queensland hadn’t anticipated a lot of interest in this grant, because everyone else knew it was going to be very busy….

2022 Applications for Regional Qld Businesses opened on Monday 16th May and were fully subscribed and closed the same day. Applications for SEQ Businesses opened at 9AM on Tuesday 17 May and was closed just 1hr 44 minutes later.

Unfortunately the vast majority of applicants who tried to apply from 9AM were simply added to a queue, for an hour and 45 minutes and didn’t actually get a chance to start the application process let alone submit their application – before it was closed. Most of these these business owners had an unproductive morning and spent 2 hours of their time on hold… only to be told that the application process was closed and they could no longer apply…

Perhaps Business Queensland consider this to be part of the “approval” process… after all, anyone who is not prepared to put time and effort into the process, probably doesn’t deserve the grant… and that may be fair enough… However, many many small businesses have spent time not just waiting in the queue for a chance to apply… but also planning and preparing for this grant… to not even be given the opportunity to apply.

Not only were small business owners expected to wait on hold for an hour or two during the application process, but most also spent several hours preparing their applications… time spent getting quotes, obtaining a signed statutory declaration, preparing the answers for their application was ultimately unnecessary for most, because they didn’t actually get an opportunity to apply.

Small Business Feedback

A number of our clients were actually successful in at least getting an application submitted…. Surprisingly the ones that did get through didn’t seem to start their application any earlier than those that failed, they just seemed to make it through the queue faster, so it appears that there was some randomness in the process … not just first in first served

Overwhelmingly, pretty much every small business owner I have spoken to were frustrated with the process – and even those that were able to submit were concerned with the process and have low confidence in their chances for approval…

Here are some of the most common “emotions” reported by small businesses participating in the 2022 Business Basics Grant process :

  • Excitement about the potential to give their business a boost… Many saw this grant as a great opportunity to get some assistance with growing their business
  • Anticipation of the Approval process, – many had tried to apply at previous offerings so knew they would need to plan and prepare for this one
  • Disappointment at the failure of the scheduled applications on the 4th May. Many had planned their day and scheduled clients and appointment to ensure they would be able to apply on 4th May… so the “technical” failure was very disruptive and disappointing.
  • Anger at not even getting a chance to submit their application.

    but the overwhelming emotion was
  • Frustration at the process. After spending many hours time and effort preparing and waiting in a queue.. most ultimately considered the whole process all a waste of time.

Business Queensland should have done better !!!

Ultimately, rather than getting a boost to their business, many thousand of Queensland Small Business owners – perhaps 10s of thousands – have spent on average 4-6 unproductive hours preparing for and waiting in the queue to apply for this grant.

The Business Queensland Business Basics Grant had the potential to provide small business with a fantastic opportunity to develop and grow their business… unfortunately the current process is more likely to anger and frustrate than help Qld Small Business… lets hope that if this type of grant is offered again, the Business Queensland puts a bit more time and effort into an effective application process.

We have some ideas about how this could be improved… but what do you think ??? Leave a comment about your own experience…s and suggestions as to how this could have been done better