Business grants and funding

Mount Alexander Grants Connect

Council is excited to offer Mount Alexander Grants Connect to all businesses, community groups and not-for-profits located in Mount Alexander Shire.

This free service provides a comprehensive list of all grant and funding opportunities available Australia-wide.

Circular Economy Business Grants

Victorian Government’s Circular Economy Business Innovation Centre (CEBIC) has opened two new funding streams.

  1. The Circular Economy Innovation Fund aims to support collaborative projects that focus on the research and development of new/innovative market solutions that apply circular design to prevent, minimise or eliminate waste and pollution, and/or keep products and materials in use at the highest value. Grants of $50,000 to $400,000, Co-contribution of $2 (SV): $1 (Project partners), 10% cash contribution.

  2. Circular Economy Business Support Fund aims to increase the uptake of circular solutions by supporting projects that identify, commercialise and scale market solutions that prevent, minimise or eliminate waste and pollution, and/ or keep products and materials in use at the highest value. Grants of $50,000 to $1,000,000, Co-contribution of $2 (SV): $1 (Project partners), 80% cash contribution.

Questions relating to the guidelines can be sent to

Energy Efficiency Grants

Energy Efficient Grants provide small and medium businesses up to $25,000 to replace or upgrade existing equipment to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

The Energy Efficiency Grants for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises Round 1 will support businesses to upgrade or replace inefficient equipment to improve their energy efficiency.

These upgrades will enable industries to reduce their energy use and manage energy cost volatility in the long term. This will contribute to Australia’s target of a 43% reduction on 2005 emission levels by 2030. 

Closing date: Wednesday 19 April, 5:00pm

Environmental Upgrade Finance

Council offers Environmental Upgrade Agreements in partnership with the Sustainable Melbourne Fund to help local businesses save money and improve their environmental performance.

What is an Environmental Upgrade Agreement (EUA)?

An EUA is an attractive financing agreement to improve the environmental performance of a commercial building. The agreement is between a financial institution, a property owner and Council.

In a circular motion, the financial institution advances funds to a commercial property owner to undertake upgrade works. The commercial property owner then makes repayments through their Council rates. Council forwards the repayments to the financial institution.

The benefit of Council involvement is that the loan is attached to the Council rates for the commercial property, and therefore has a high level of security. This security enables the financial institution to offer very attractive loan terms.

Eligible commercial property owners can apply for up to 100% of project costs with repayments structured through Council’s rates on a quarterly basis. The minimum loan amount is $15,000.

What type of projects are eligible?

  • Installation of an approved solar photovoltaic (PV) system to any eligible premises.
  • Installation of an approved solar hot water (HW) system to any eligible premises.
  • Measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save or generate energy.
  • Lighting upgrades to more efficient lighting e.g. LED, lighting controls and daylight sensors.
  • External façade upgrades for solar shading.
  • Heating, cooling and ventilation improvements.
  • Efficient unit replacement e.g. pumps and variable speed control equipment.
  • Electronic control equipment e.g. power control of motors, pumps, boilers and air heating/cooling systems.
  • Rainwater harvesting and filtration systems.
  • Waste water, grey/black water recycling/treatment for re-use of water.
  • Toilet/urinal replacements for accredited and compliant efficient systems.

What are the benefits?

  • Protect your business from rising energy prices.
  • Replace old and inefficient equipment with newer more efficient technologies.
  • Free up cash flow by locking in competitive long-term rates.
  • Reduce your company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the eligibility criteria?

  • Must have been a rateable premises for the past two years.
  • Must be a commercial premises with a minimum of 50% of the building operating as commercial.
  • Must not have been in arrears with rate payments for the past three years.
  • Must not be owned through a superannuation trust.

How do I apply?

To enquire about applying for an EUA contact Sustainable Melbourne Fund. They will check your eligibility and assist you throughout the application process.

Phone: 9658 8740

Key documents:

Digital Jobs for Manufacturing

The Digital Jobs for Manufacturing program offers grants of up to $5000 to assist Victorian manufacturing businesses adapt to a digital operating environment.

12-week online, part-time industry-endorsed digital skills courses are available to a nominated employee.

Streams vary to suit your business, including:  

  • artificial Intelligence (AI)/machine learning
  • cybersecurity
  • data analytics
  • digital marketing
  • IT operations and support
  • user experience / User interface (UX/UI)
  • web development.

Courses will run in May and September 2023, and January and April 2024.

Young Farmers Scholarship Program

Get $5000 to put towards training or study, and up to $5000 extra funding to invest on-farm or in professional development, if you are a young farmer aged 35 or under.

This program is designed to be flexible, and to fit with the different demands and ambitions of young farmers.

It provides young farmers and those who work directly on farm with an opportunity to invest in themselves and their career. 

Solar for Business program

Eligible businesses can apply for a rebate of $3,500 to install a solar panel system, with the option to take advantage of an interest-free loan up to $5,000.

The Solar for Business program is an initiative designed to support Victorian businesses to reduce their energy costs by accessing the benefits of renewable energy.

This initiative will bring down energy bills for eligible businesses by reducing the upfront cost of the installation of an approved small-scale solar PV system up to 30kW inverter capacity.