The opening of applications for Business Queensland’s Business Basics Grant program, originally scheduled for 9am on May 4, has been delayed by what the state government described as ‘unprecedented nationwide technical issues’.
The issue is being ‘urgently investigated’ by SmartyGrants, the application portal system provider, which is administered by social enterprise OurCommunity. The issue affects all SmartyGrants users.
The Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) apologised for the delay, promising to work with SmartyGrants and provide an update on application timelines once the issue has been resolved.
A DESBT spokesperson told The Mandarin: “DESBT will consider appropriate timelines for the grant round when possible and is focused on ensuring that equity and transparency continue to be of the utmost importance for this grant round.”
It is unclear the nature of the technical issue.
According to DESBT, potential applicants are being notified of the issue via email, social media and the Small Business hotline. On the website, there is a notice about the system being down at the time of writing.
This round of the program allows for small businesses to apply for grants of $5,000 based either in southeast or regional Queensland. The funds can be used for things such as training, website upgrades and business advice.
Previous grant programs occurred last year. The first round opened and closed in May, and the second opened in August and closed in September.