LVBICF - Application and Grant Guidelines

Latrobe Valley Business and Industry Capability Fund

To discuss your business growth opportunity and find out more about applying, please contact your local business concierge

Contact details

Council Concierge


Latrobe City Council

Erin Moore

Phone: 1300 367 700


Baw Baw Shire Council

Tamara Weitenthaler

Phone: 1300 229 229


Wellington Shire Council

Rowan Lace

Phone: 1300 366 244


Bass Coast Shire Council

Claudia Tivendale

Phone: 1300 BCOAST (226 278)


South Gippsland Shire Council

Kristy Nicholls

Phone: 5662 9200


East Gippsland Shire Council

Mali Bromley

Phone: 5153 9500


1. Introduction

The Latrobe Valley Authority (LVA) is bringing together local people, councils, industry, education providers and governments to secure the economic future of the Latrobe Valley and broader Gippsland.

Small and medium sized businesses in Gippsland have considerable growth potential, however, these businesses often find it hard to navigate government and private services. The Business Support Service (BSS) provides a Concierge to help businesses navigate the complexities of available services, with a Business Concierge based in each of the six Gippsland local government areas (Baw Baw Shire Council, Latrobe City Council, Wellington Shire Council, Bass Coast Shire Council, South Gippsland Shire Council, and East Gippsland Shire Council)

The BSS assists businesses to navigate advisory services, government and private, and available funding support (such as grants) suitable for their needs. Business Concierges offer tailored advice to businesses, linking them with the most appropriate services required. The Business Concierge remains in contact with the business on their journey to ensure they have current information to support their needs. The service is aimed at helping businesses to grow by improving business practices; however, at times a grant can help to expedite an opportunity.

There are very few funds to support early stage businesses. This Fund targets business growth to accelerate opportunities through access to training and advisory services for capability building, support for investment in equipment, and helping to improve business performance.

For more information on the service visit

2. Overview of the Fund

2.1 Objectives of the Fund

Through the Business Concierges, small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in the region will be able to apply for funding assistance to help their businesses grow. This includes funds for skills-building, professional services, training, infrastructure and equipment upgrades.

The Fund has been specifically designed to support SMEs particularly early stage businesses, to reach their growth potential and enable them to create an innovative and sustainable business. The focus of the Fund is for businesses that have been operational for less than three years and have an annual turnover of under $1.5m.

We are proud of the capability of our local professional service providers. Businesses will be referred to find a service provider listed on to encourage local spend and continue to build the capability of our business community.

2.2 Outcomes and Principles of the Fund

The Latrobe Valley Business and Industry Capability Fund is based on a set of principles which reflect our way of working and aspirations for the Gippsland business community.  The principles and the outcomes the LVA are seeking to achieve through the program are set out below.

When applying for Streams 2-4, applicants must articulate how the activity for which they are seeking funding will help their business and the Gippsland region achieve the desired outcomes and address the principles listed below.  This is important work as it forms the basis on which applications will be assessed. Please talk with your Concierge to understand how to develop a strong application.

Our Vision - A strong future for the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland

LVA Outcomes

Gippsland is innovative, competitive, adaptive and diverse for the benefit of all

Everyone has the opportunity to contribute to and share in Gippsland’s prosperity

Latrobe Valley Business and Industry Capability Principles

Building capabilityCompetitive advantagePartnership and collaborationSocial inclusionPromotes the region
Grow your skills and run a more successful businessUtilise the regional strengths to your advantageInvolve partners to achieve better outcomes for your business and GippslandProvide opportunities for everyone in GippslandDevelop Gippsland as a dynamic destination

3. Funding

Funding is accessed through consultation with the Business Concierge, this enables an opportunity for a deeper conversation about business needs and next steps. Following the conversation, if the Business Concierge considers the business is eligible and would benefit from funding support, they will work with a business to identify the appropriate project and funding amount.

Applicants are permitted to apply for one grant under each stream per funding round. Multiple applications from one Applicant in any round maybe considered on a case-by-case basis but is not encouraged.

The Fund is offered in streams described below:



Business Contribution

LVA Funding amount

1. Skills and capability

Funding support to develop employee and business skills and capability via training, skills development, and access to local professional services.


Training must be accredited and delivered by a Gippsland based registered training provider.

Approved training could include:

  • Business and economic growth
  • Strategic or succession planning
  • Transition planning to take advantage of new opportunities

Professional Services

Approved businesses will be eligible to access Gippsland based professional services including but not limited to:

  • Accounting services
  • Legal advice
  • Business planning
  • Digital design and website development
  • Collaborative tendering
  • Social Enterprise Training
  • Marketing (including signage)
  • Mentoring (beyond free services)
n/aFunding amounts up to $5,000.
2. Feasibility Studies

Funding is available to support the development of a feasibility study to test and validate early stage business proposals where it is anticipated that there is significant benefit for Gippsland.

Collaborative applications through a lead applicant representing two or more organisations are encouraged.

Applicants are required to make a 25% financial contribution or source third party funding for the project.Funding amounts up to $25,000.
3. Infrastructure and Equipment

Funding is available to eligible businesses for infrastructure investment or purchase of equipment to support expansion.

Applicants will be asked to demonstrate how the project expands business activity and creates employment.

There is an expectation that the application will be supported by a comprehensive business case and financial projections.

Projects supported under this stream include:

  • Extending or re-purposing existing buildings to increase production area
  • Upgrading to allow the business to offer new or different services
  • Enabling scale up and employment of extra staff
  • Purchasing key plant / machinery / equipment that enables process improvements or increased production/output workflow and allocation
Applicants are required to make a 25% financial contribution or source third party funding for the project.Funding amounts up to $25,000.
4. Collaborative Business Activity

Funding for Business Associations and Local Government that collaborate across at least two municipal boundaries for a business activity or promotional campaign where it is anticipated that there is significant benefit for Gippsland.

Small businesses partnerships and collaborations on an activity or event may also be considered.

A lead business will be required to make the application and clearly identify the partners in the project and their responsibilities.

Applicants are required to make a 25% financial contribution or source third party funding for the project.Funding amounts of up to $25,000.

The LVA reserves the right to negotiate specific funding above the limits set out in the table above.

4. Eligibility

To be eligible for assistance, applicants must be one of the following entity types:

4.1 Businesses

  1. Be a legally structured business registered in Gippsland with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  2. Have an operating presence and conduct the proposed activities in Gippsland
  3. Be registered on Gippsland Business Connect (
  4. Be registered for GST if applying for Stream 2, 3, or 4 (GST registration is not a requirement for applying for Stream 1, however it is a desirable outcome of receiving funding under this stream)
  5. Meet any co-contribution requirements with eligible cash expenditure

4.2 Trust Structures

  1. An Incorporated Trustee can apply on behalf of a Trust provided that the Trustee will remain sufficiently liable for the performance of any agreement it signs
  2. Comply with the criteria as set out above under 4.1

4.3 Local Government / Industry Bodies / Traditional Owner Groups

Gippsland Local Government, Business Associations, Aboriginal Owner Groups and other Peak Bodies may apply if they:

  1. Have an operating presence and conduct the proposed activities in Gippsland
  2. Be registered on Gippsland Business Connect (
  3. Meet any co-contribution requirements with eligible cash expenditure

Local Councils can auspice projects on behalf of business and industry groups including:

  • Chambers of Commerce and business associations
  • Industry peak bodies
  • Aboriginal Owner Groups
  • Business and industry clusters and networks

Social enterprises and Incorporated Associations may be considered if they satisfy the above eligibility criteria.

4.4 Ineligible Applicants

Funding requests that will not be considered include:

  • Retrospective funding, where projects have commenced work or activity prior to funding approval
  • Business activities or equipment that would be deemed essential for operating (i.e. ongoing salary costs, payroll software, office furniture, computers and other general operating requirements)
  • Supporting business expansion because of winning a government contract
  • Projects that will require ongoing funding from the Victorian Government when completed
  • Purchase of land or buildings
  • Round 1 Stream 2 – 4 previous grant recipients are ineligible to apply

5. Funding Conditions

5.1 General Funding Conditions

Funds from other State and Commonwealth Government programs cannot form part of the co-contribution.

There is no guarantee that an application will be supported for funding, or that the amount of funding requested will be offered.

The State of Victoria reserves the right to provide funding at a lower value than requested.

The State of Victoria reserves the right to cap the amount of funding that any one organisation receives over the period of the Fund or programs administered by the Department.

The Department reserves the right, in its absolute discretion, to amend these conditions in respect to grants funding that have not yet been awarded.

5.1.1 Duration of funding

The Fund will close on Friday 16 April 2021 at 5:00pm or when the program funds are exhausted.

Projects funded under each funding stream are to commence prior to 30 June 2021 and be completed within the agreed period as specified in the Funding Agreement.

5.2 Round 1 Grant Recipients

Due to limited funding and our goal of supporting as many local businesses in the community as possible, the following restrictions apply for previous recipients from Round 1 of the Latrobe Valley Business and Industry Capability Fund:

  • Stream 1 previous grant recipients are not restricted from applying but must demonstrate that the activity is new and unrelated to previous successful applications
  • Stream 2 – 4 previous grant recipients are ineligible to apply

Applications will not be considered where an applicant has outstanding acquittal requirements with the Department.

5.3 Funding agreements

Successful applicants will be required to enter into a funding agreement with the LVA which will detail all funding obligations and conditions.

The funding agreement is a legally enforceable document that clearly defines the obligations of both parties. The funding agreement aims to protect the Victorian Government’s interests and to ensure the efficient and effective use of public money.

Funding agreements must be signed by the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent) and will:

  • Align with the objectives of the fund and the outcomes it is seeking
  • Describe the purpose for which the funding must be used
  • Set out any requirements or conditions that must be met prior to the payment of a grant instalment
  • Outline agreed milestones and project outcomes that must be achieved before payment of a grant instalment.

Once the funding agreement has been executed (signed by other parties), the applicant will be required to actively manage and deliver the project and provide progress reports to the LVA as required. During the project, LVA staff may conduct site visits as necessary.

5.4 Payment conditions

Grant payments will only be made as per the executed Funding Agreement.

All project expenditure is to be incurred only after the Funding Agreement has been executed. Funding will not be provided for retrospective activities.

GST will be paid in addition to the Grant value where applicable. Organisations not registered for GST will be required to pay the GST on their accounts.

Applicants will need to meet the cost of any ineligible expenditure or cost overruns associated with their project.

Milestone payments will be made if:

  1. The funding agreement has been signed by both parties
  2. Grant recipients provide reports as required, or otherwise demonstrate that the activity is progressing as expected based on achievement of milestones to the satisfaction of LVA
  3. Other funding terms and conditions continue to be met to the satisfaction of LVA.

5.5 Evaluation and reporting

Successful applicants will be required to agree to an evaluation which is undertaken either during and/or after the completion of the project. Successful applicants will also be required to submit progress and completion reports against agreed milestones. Further details and template will be provided with funding agreement.

5.6 Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is a situation in which someone in a position of trust or influence has competing professional or personal interests.

Applicants must advise the Department of any real or perceived conflict of interest relating to a project for which it has applied for funding. Applicants must clearly demonstrate how the proposed project costs represent value for money and detail how the conflict will be managed.

5.7 Privacy

Any personal information about you or a third party in the application will be collected by the Latrobe Valley Authority (as representative of the Victorian Government), for grant administration. This information may be provided to other Victorian and Local Government agencies for the purposes of assessing your application. If you intend to include personal information about third parties in your application, please ensure they are aware of the contents of this privacy statement. The Department’s privacy policy is available by emailing the Department’s Privacy Unit at

Any personal information about you or a third party in your correspondence will be collected held, managed, used and disclosed or transferred in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other applicable laws. The Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions (DJPR) is committed to protecting the privacy the privacy of personal information. Enquiries about access to personal information, or for other concerns regarding the privacy of personal information, can be emailed to the Department’s Privacy Unit at

6. Application and Assessment Process

Key Dates

The Fund will close on Friday 16 April 2021 at 5:00pm or when the program funds are exhausted. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Application process

Discussion with Concierge

Business receives online application link

Business submits application and supporting documents

Assessment and recommendation by a panel


6.1 Assessment criteria

An application must address each assessment criterion and make the best possible case for funding. Claims made against each criterion must be substantiated and full details of all underlying risks and assumptions should be clearly stated. Supporting documentation must be attached (See section 7).

Applicants under Streams 2, 3 and 4 may take the opportunity of presenting their application to the assessment panel in a three minute 'pitch format' using Microsoft Teams. The Concierge will provide guidance on how to access Teams and present their application.

Stream 1

Eligible applications will be assessed by the LVA and must demonstrate that the project will develop the skills and knowledge of their business to contribute to the Gippsland economy.

Streams 2, 3 and 4

Eligible applications will be assessed by an independent panel against the following criteria.

Assessment criteria


What will the project achieve?

Demonstrates the project supports the Fund principles and LVA outcomes and enables the business to achieve their potential


Why is the project needed?

Project aligns with regional plans, and addresses an existing gap, challenge or issue


How will the project be delivered?

Project is investment ready, financially viable, incorporates principles of environmental sustainability, and uses resources which strengthen the Gippsland economy


Who is involved?

Project is capable of being implemented and employs a collaborative approach with a range of partners drawing on local expertise


7. Supporting material and documentation

Please provide relevant documents for your application.

Applications that do not provide the information requested will not be assessed.

Document type



Evidence of business legal status

All streams

Certificate of registration, incorporation or equivalent documentation.


All streams

Itemised quotes that include the supplier’s business details and ABN.


Stream 1

Professional services:  2 quotations using suppliers listed on Gippsland Business Connect

Training: 1 quotation using training providers listed on Gippsland Business Connect

Business plan

Stream 3

Documentation setting out businesses future objectives and strategies for achieving them.

Detailed budget*

Streams 2, 3, and 4

Detailed budget for full scope of program

Project plan*

Streams 2, 3, and 4

Documentation outlining and supporting the proposed timeline and outcomes of the project.


Stream 3

2-year projected cash flow, return on investment prepared in partnership with accountant

Other support materials

All streams

May include letters of support, income projections, studies, master plans, compliance requirements or other evidence of support for the activity.

*Template provided in consultation with your local Business Concierge

The LVA reserves the right to update and amend these guidelines without notification.