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Export businesses: cash rebates for 50% of overseas marketing expenses

If you’ve spent good money telling the world about your Aussie business, you could be eligible for a healthy cash rebate.

As we kick off the new financial year, we have some good news for businesses who are flying the flag for Australia on the international stage.

The Federal Government’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program has cash rebates available to Australian businesses that have exported, or intend to export, to other countries and are spending money on the international promotion of their products or services.

Put simply, it’s a pat on the back for bringing Aussie ingenuity to the world.

What is the EMDG?

The EMDG is a government program that supports and encourages aspiring and current exporters in Australia. Eligible businesses are entitled to a cash rebate of approximately 50 per cent of overseas marketing expenses up to $150,000 (subject to available funding).


The current EMDG 2020-2021 rebate is available for businesses who have spent on overseas marketing anytime over the last financial year – a first-time applicant can claim two years of expenses (dating back to July 1, 2019). It’s non-competitive, so if you are eligible and have the right documents, the grant is yours.

Your chances might be better than you think. The government’s pool of funds to draw from is $157.9 million per annum – so if you’ve spent money on overseas marketing, you don’t want to miss a piece of this pie.

Right now is the time to apply because the EMDG program is changing. From August 16, the EMDG 2021-2022 – Upfront program will accept upfront applications for planned overseas marketing activities over the next three years.

So if you’re savvy, you can apply for both the current and future EMDG grants in the same year.

What can you claim?

There are eight different sets of marketing expenses that you can claim when applying for an EMDG. These costs include:

  • Advertising across social media and online (including Facebook, Instagram, Google, Amazon, YouTube, TikTok, your website, influencer marketing, videos and more)
  • Overseas representatives
  • Marketing consultants and PR agencies
  • Intellectual property and trademarks
  • Trade fairs and marketing events
  • Free samples
  • Overseas travel
  • Overseas buyers

For 2021/2022 onwards, a new applicant can claim the cost of training to enhance marketing skills.

How do you apply?

For expert advice on your application, talk to Export Solutions to see how they can help maximise the grant you are entitled to. Export Solutions is Australia’s leading team of national grants advisors, helping local businesses access cash rebates through the EMDG program for more than 25 years. They work on a success fee, with no hourly rates and no charges for their advice.

“The team at Export Solutions guided us through the process to ensure that we received our maximum entitlements,” says Professor Daniel Shaddock, CEO of Liquid Instruments, a Canberra-based scientific tech equipment provider with high-profile global customers like Apple and NASA.

“It’s exactly the helping hand we needed. Having someone to navigate the grant process on our behalf allowed us to maintain focus on the core aspects of the product marketing.”

Their experienced grant advisors work with exporters across most industries and areas of Australia, so they know exactly how to get your documentation in order to help secure your grant. Don’t just stare at the government form for hours – book a 10-minute consultation call and see if you’re eligible.

Who has secured grants in the past?

From food exports to fashion to educational equipment, the kinds of businesses that have benefitted from EMDG grants are extremely varied. As one example, Export Solutions helped designer bag and sunglasses brand Poppy Lissiman – whose designs have been worn by everyone from Beyonce to the Kardashians – claim their grant.

“Their team is across digital and social marketing. We didn’t have to spend time explaining how influencer marketing or social media advertising works,” Skip Lissiman from Poppy Lissiman says. “They just told us which reports to get and what documents were needed for them to prepare a quality application. Export Solutions are focused on getting the largest grant possible. They stood alongside us throughout the audit process, and successfully appealed a decision from Austrade to ensure we received the full grant amount we were entitled to.”

To be able to claim, you must have:

  • An ABN;
  • A turnover of less than $50 million in the year of application (less than $20 million if applying for EMDG 2021-22);
  • Spent more than $15,000 on international promotion;
  • Received less than eight previous EMDG grants;
  • Have principal status (making the sale to the overseas customer).

For more information, download an EMDG fact sheet or book a free consultation with Export Solutions.


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