Time for a digital upgrade? Let the Victorian government pick up the tab with the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program. 

Remember when we all signed up to OpinionWord and Valued Opinions with the promise that filling out online surveys would bring us some form of financial return? While we might have enjoyed the odd $20 gift card, those online survey groups were never going to deliver a substantial windfall. Flash forward about a decade, and the Victorian government is indeed offering money for your eventual opinion in the form of the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program. 

Aiming to assist small businesses to expand within the digital world, the Digital Adaptation Program invites eligible businesses to register and subsequently gain access to free trials of a number of digital programs, along with free training and workshops. After trialing, eligible businesses can choose to purchase ongoing access to the participating products and apply for a rebate of $1200 (the equivalent of at least 12 months’ access). At the end of these 12 months, businesses can then choose to cancel their subscription or to continue accessing the product at their own cost. 

Xero, MYOB, Square, Shopify, Australian Good Food Guide, Mr. Yum, Trade Trak, and VACC are among the more than a dozen digital providers whose products can be trialed and purchased as part of the scheme. Registration is open until 28th February 2021, and businesses will be invited to apply for a purchase rebate 1 month after registering (with applications for rebates open until 31st March 2021, or until funds are exhausted). 

Confirmation of digital adaptation must be established after 6 weeks, with the rebate paid after proof of continued product use.  There is also a mandatory evaluation survey to be completed after 6 and 12 months. This will help the Government to understand the impact and effectiveness of the program, and it’s a much better return than you could ever get from Survey World. 

There’s still plenty of time to register, so if you’re looking to upgrade your accounting software, adding a shop to your existing website, or trying to find the best way to take payments on the fly, visit the Business Victoria website for terms and conditions and to see if your small business qualifies for a digital boost.