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COVID-19 EMDG Update – changes to the EMDG program announced Wednesday 1 Apr 2020

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To assist Australian exporters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, today the Federal Government announced changes to the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program, including an injection of an extra $49.8 million in funding.

We have outlined below what this means for EMDG applicants, whether your business has already applied this grant year, or is considering an EMDG application in the near future. 

For those who submitted EMDG applications for the 2018/19 financial year

For EMDG applicants who have submitted applications in the program that closed on March 3, 2020: 

Second tranche payment. All grant entitlements over $40,000 will be paid out at 100% as a result of the additional funding.

Timing of second tranche payment. Previously the second tranche payment has been made in the final week of June. Given businesses urgent need for cash, the second tranche payouts will start being made as of Monday next week (April 6).

  • If your application has been audited/approved and your first tranche of $40,000 has been made, you can expect your second tranche to be released from next week.
  • If you have recently been approved, and your payment exceeds $40,000 you will receive 100% of this payment from next week.

Applications yet to be reviewed. Your payments will occur upon successful audit/approval of your application

Applications already approved with no second tranche payment due. If your grant entitlement is less than $40,000 there are no changes as you will already receive 100% of the payment due upon successful audit/approval.

For those businesses looking to submit for the 2019/20 EMDG program

The 2020 grant program will open on 1 July 2020, covering the period 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020. For first year applicants, the 2020 program covers costs paid from 1 July 18 – 30 June 2020:

Will 100% second tranche payments be made next grant year?

The short answer is we don’t know. For now, the only injection of funds announced is the $46.8m which applies to the already closed 2019 EMDG program. This however does not mean further assistance won’t be made available at a later date. The Government’s response to COVID-19 is ongoing with announcement for business support being made daily. As such, we will have to wait and see if extra funding is announced.

In the meantime, there is still the injection of $20m in to the funding pool, which was part of the Government’s previous boost to the program.

What about overseas marketing costs impacted by COVID-19?

If you have incurred costs for cancelled international travel, tradeshows or the like, these costs will still able to be claimed. Given the inability for international travel due to COVID-19, the Government understands that many businesses have incurred extraordinary costs. Please note that where costs have been refunded, credited or covered by insurance – these expenses are not eligible for EMDG.

My export earnings have significantly decreased, can I still apply?

Yes, please refer to the information outlined below.

I haven’t applied for EMDG for a while because I haven’t had any/enough export revenue

This information applies to applicants who are applying for grants 3 – 8 only, for the 2020 grant program opening on 1 July, 2020.

The Government has waived the export performance test for those applying for a grant in relation to the 2019–20 financial year. This means for next grant year, your payout will not be capped at a percentage of your export earnings. You will receive 50% of eligible expenses above the first $5,000. This is the same calculation as for year 1 and 2 applicants.

Therefore, if you have not been claiming EMDG as a result of not having any, or enough, export revenue to warrant submitting a claim, we strongly suggest you look at applying this year. As a reminder, you must have spent at least $15,000 in eligible overseas marketing expenses to be eligible.

If you have any queries about the changes to the EMDG program please contact Glasshouse Advisory.


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