Friday, 26 April 2013

Canberra BusinessPoint helping you Master Business – for free!

Canberra BusinessPoint is an ACT Government funded service providing information, mentoring and advice to business start-ups, intenders and small, micro and high growth potential firms. Delivered collaboratively by Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre and the Canberra Business Council, Canberra BusinessPoint taps into the collective knowledge and experiences of the Canberra business community, to provide a service that builds strong foundations and encourages innovation.

Canberra BusinessPoint provides a range of programs to suit the needs of businesses from contemplating an idea through to helping ensure a return on investment. These programs are delivered through their Business Advisory Service, including a mobile Business Advisor, Workshops and Clinics.

For those with a bit more experience in running and managing a business, Canberra BusinessPoint also offers their Master Class sessions. The latest series of Master Classes, which still has some vacancies for attendance, begins on Wednesday 1 May 2013 and includes 6 sessions covering a variety of advanced business themes. Each session will feature a guest speaker who will use an illustrative case study to cover the following topics:
  • Financial focus session – looking at the financial impact of business decisions
  • Business Performance Session – looking at defining issues that affect business performance
  • Funding Expansion Session - looking at funding expansion plans and attractiveness to investors
  • Legal focus session – looking at the legal impact of common business decisions
  • People session – looking at managing communication between partners
  • Marketing session – looking at launching a new product into the market with a limited budget
Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre will be using this series of Master Classes to film six online educational videos and is looking for a studio audience to be involved in them. You can take part in one or all sessions and participation in these sessions is free.  If you are interested in attending these sessions contact Candice Edye at candice.edye@lighthouseinnovation.com.au.

To find out more about Canberra BusinessPoint, including other upcoming events, visit www.canberrabusinesspoint.com.au External Link - opens in new window.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Tax Incentives for your Research and Development

Administered jointly by AusIndustry and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), the overarching goal of the incentive program is to encourage companies to engage in R&D, in turn boosting competitiveness and improving productivity across the Australian economy.

Canberra business, eWAY is just one example of a local business taking advantage of the program. eWAY CEO and founder, Matt Bullock said “Our global operations centre runs out of Canberra, which also houses the R&D team. Without R&D Tax assistance we would not have been able to develop our world-class payment solutions.” Read more about eWAY’s and other R&D tax incentive business stories External Link - opens in new window.

Subject to eligibility criteria and exclusions, the R&D Tax Incentive can be used to offset expenditure incurred on R&D activities, the decline in value of depreciating assets used in R&D activities and more. Find out more about the eligible deductions External Link - opens in new window.

So is your business entitled to the R&D Tax Incentive? Ask yourself:
  • Are you an eligible company? Find out if you are an eligible company External Link - opens in new window.
  • Are the activities being undertaken experimental activities? Experiments can take place in a range of settings, from a separate laboratory to an otherwise normal production line.
  • Can the outcome of the experiments be known or determined in advance on the basis of publicly available knowledge, information or experience?
  • Where are the activities being undertaken – in Australia or overseas?
  • Who is conducting the activities? You are only entitled to a tax offset for R&D activities conducted for your company (there are some exceptions to this).
  • Do you have notional deductions of $20,000 or more? If not, have you contracted the activities to a registered RSP, or made a monetary contribution under the CRC program? 
  • Do you have appropriate records and evidence of conducting eligible R&D activities to substantiate your claim?
If you are planning to claim under the R&D Tax Incentive you must register your eligible R&D activities with AusIndustry. You are required to complete this registration process each year you plan to claim.

You need to register your activities within 10 months of the end of the income year in which the activities were conducted.  For example, if your business operates on a standard financial year (1 July to 30 June) you must register by 30 April 2013. If your business operated on a substituted accounting period (1 January to 31 December) you must register by 21 October 2013.

To register for the R&D Tax Incentive visit the AusIndustry website External Link - opens in new window. To find out more about the program visit the AusIndustry and Australian Taxation Office External Link - opens in new window websites.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ACT Screen Investment Fund – Growth and Sustainability in the ACT Screen Industry

Are you looking for funding for your next screen project? Does your project provide economic, cultural and creative benefits to the ACT? The ACT Government’s Screen Investment Fund may be your answer.

Designed to support growth and sustainability in the ACT screen industry, the Fund can provide you with equity co-investment for creative, original and commercial projects. This includes film, television and digital media projects.

Established in 2010, the ACT Screen Investment Fund has supported a number of screen projects, the most recent being a documentary, ‘Canberra Confidential’. Presented by ABC journalist and Logie award nominee Annabel Crabb, Canberra Confidential explores some of the forgotten scandals, political secrets and espionage sagas that shook the nation over the past century. The documentary aired on ABC in mid-March and received positive ratings in all the capital cities, making it one of ABC’s highest watched programs on the night. Find out more about Canberra Confidential External Link - opens in new window.

This isn’t the only success story for the Fund. In 2011, the Fund supported ‘The Digger – A History’, which went on to receive the gold award at the 2011 Cannes Corporate and Television Awards in the History and Civilization category. The Digger tells the story of those who have represented Australia in the various battlefields and trenches across the world - from South Africa and Egypt, to the Western Front, New Guinea, Korea and Vietnam. Find out more about The Digger – A History External Link - opens in new window.

To find out more about the Fund, visit our ACT Screen Investment Fund page.

The ACT Screen Investment Fund holds up to four funding rounds each financial year. If you are interested in applying for funding be quick! Applications for the latest funding round close 5pm Monday 29 April 2013.

Annabel Crabb in ‘Canberra Confidential’.
Annabel Crabb in ‘Canberra Confidential’.
Annabel Crabb & Director-General of ASIO David Irvine, on location at the National Archives of Australia.
Annabel Crabb & Director-General of  ASIO David Irvine, on location at the National Archives of Australia.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Are you looking to make your workplace healthier?

Healthier Work are now accepting applications for the ACT Small Business Workplace Health and Wellbeing Incentive Program.

The Incentive Program aims to support small businesses in the ACT to kick start health and wellbeing initiatives in their workplace or to extend and add value to existing health and wellbeing programs.

The Incentives Program will provide funding to organisations for activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices for ACT workers by targeting the following key health areas:
  • Increased physical activity
  • Healthier eating
  • Smoking reduction/cessation
  • Improved social and emotional wellbeing
  • Reduction of harmful alcohol consumption
Funding is available for ACT workplaces with up to 50 employees, in the private and community sectors. Depending on the number of employees, you can apply for funding of $1,000, $3,000 or $5,000 for your workplace.

To be eligible for funding, you must have had a visit from a Healthier Work Industry Advisor within six months of the date of applying. To arrange a visit contact Healthier Work External Link - opens in new window.

Applications for the program close on Friday 12 April 2013.

Visit www.healthierwork.act.gov.au External Link - opens in new window for the full terms and conditions and details on how to apply.