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Financing your export business

Financing your export business

To be successful in export, it is important for a business to have a good export strategy, conduct proper due diligence before exploring opportunities in a potential market, prepare export pricing/marketing and also visit the potential export market.

However, most of the time, a business will need to commit time and money to do all of these activities. In the later stages of the export journey, businesses may also be faced by key issues such as financing the export contract and making sure it gets paid by the customer.

It is important for a business to have an export budget before making the first step in its export journey. If you are considering preparing an export budget, it should cover all the expenses that will likely occur when marketing you products and services to overseas markets, which may include:

• Regular visits to your target markets. The cost of this will vary depending on which markets you are targeting.

• Production of export marketing collaterals such as brochures, business cards and samples. Some markets also require that you translate your marketing materials to the local language.

• Communication such as email, website, phone calls and video-conferences. Each target market has a unique communication technique, so it is important that this is also taken into consideration.

• Market entry consultants and legal or business advisory services.

• A dedicated Export Manager to manage your export business.

• Working capital to finance your export orders, including freight and logistics.

If you are an ACT company seeking financial support for your export business, there are several options available:

1.Trade Connect

Trade Connect is ACT Government’s grant program which is designed to help Canberra- based businesses with a range of export market development activities. Examples of the funded activities include market visits, development of marketing material, promotion and advertising, trade show participation, incoming buyer visits, market research and mentoring. To be eligible for Trade Connect funding, the applicant must be prepared to enter into a formal agreement with the ACT Government and meet all of the following conditions, which include:

• Be a registered business for tax purposes.

• Have an office with supporting staff in the ACT

• Have an annual turnover of less than $10 million.

• Have tradeable goods or services for the export market to be developed.

• Have a current Export Development Plan.

For more information about Trade Connect, please refer to www.business.gov.au

2. Export Market Development Grant

Administered by Austrade, the EMDG scheme is a key Australian Government financial assistance program for aspiring and current exporters. The scheme encourages small and medium sized Australian businesses above $5,000 provided that the total expenses are at least $15,000. The scheme provides up to eight (8) grants to each eligible applicant.

To be eligible for EMDG, the business must have:

• Income of not more than $50 million in the grant year.

• Incurred at least $15,000 of eligible export expenses under the scheme (first-time applicants can combine two years expenses).

• Principal status for the export business (some exceptions apply, eg. Non-profit export focused industry bodies).

For further information about EMDG, please refer to www.austrade.gov.au/export/export-grants.

The Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) has developed the Export Finance Navigator (www. exportfinance.gov.au), which provides businesses with assistance in cutting through the confusion surrounding finance, grants and tax concessions. The Navigator helps businesses find the financial solutions that are key export success.

If you need further information about exporting or would like to discuss how to benefit from the above grants, please contact Larry Fisher of the ACT Exporters’ Network at[email protected] or call (02) 6247 4199.

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