The Federal Government has released $14 million in funding to help small-to-medium businesses (SMB) go online or upgrade their Internet presentation.Grants range from $50,000 to $700,000 had been offered to 47 small business support groups including industry associations.Groups to be funded in the current round include the Darwin Region Business Enterprise Centre ($320,000); the Margaret River Wine Industry Association ($140,000); the NSW Business Chamber ($495,000); and the Gulf Savannah Development group - which supports businesses from Cairns to Broome - ($200,000).Robert Rutten, owner of Queensland-based IT service provider Rutten Technologies stands to benefit from the program and said it was of benefit to SMB business and their IT service providers in regional areas.Rutten Technologies created the original website for Gulf Savannah Development Group. The Group also contracts some of its client's IT work out to Rutten."[The funding] is a great start for small businesses and for service providers the spin-off will be SMBs will be looking for a professional consultant to help them with their projects," he said.According to Rutten the funding will give SMBs the opportunity to invest in a website that has been planned properly."Having an online presence isn't just about spending money on how the front-end looks," he said. "SMBs now have the chance to spend money on getting consultation about building a smarter site, instead of a back-shed job."Matt Price, managing director of Western Australian-based Web development company PerthWeb will also benefit from an updated to the Margaret River Wine Industry Association website, which it developed five years ago."We created the [original] site originally for $15,000. Getting a $140,000 grant will help the Association boost its site," he said. "That kind of money will help it build online applications for the better management of its site."
Issue: 343 | October 2015