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August 21, 2020

$10,000 grants up for grabs for businesses in the CBD and North Adelaide

If you’re a small business in the CBD or North Adelaide and want to make the most of your outdoor area, the State Government has some very specific funding for you.

  • Words: Angela Skujins


In a bid to bolster the city’s economic ecosystem and support safe social distancing measures, the State Government announced yesterday it had $300,000 in its purse to dish out to local businesses looking to activate outdoor areas.


The State Government and City of Adelaide have announced $10,000 grants are available for small businesses in North Adelaide and the CBD.

Applications are open. More info here.

This article has been updated.

The City of Adelaide will allocate the grants, capped at $10,000 each, to CBD and North Adelaide small businesses looking to improve their alfresco offerings on a medium-to-long-term basis.

Improvements include installing heating and cooling machinery, such as outdoor heaters, purchasing outdoor dining furniture, adding plants, green walls or window boxes, and commissioning wall murals.

Owners must cover 20 per cent of project costs and the grant will cover the remaining 80, up to $10,000. For the purpose of this application, a small business is defined as an entity employing less than 20 full-time equivalent employees.

Leigh Street Wine Room co-owner Sali Sasi criticised the news on Instagram, suggesting the scheme was more about the state government shoring up votes in the marginal seat of Adelaide than helping small business.

“The fact that you expect businesses to spend 20% of a total project cost to make outdoor improvements in order to access the grant is a cheap way of you making it look like you’re ‘helping’ small businesses when in fact you’re making a pitch at trying to gain some respect in your marginal seats of the cbd / north Adelaide,” Sali wrote.

“If you really wanted to help then you should issue grants based on means testing that allow struggling businesses to utilise the funding how they see fit, such as wages, purchasing stock and recovering the debts during closure.”

City of Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said in a press release she was aware the city is doing it tough and this was a way the council could offer support.

“Businesses can make improvements such as fixed external heating and cooling devices, non-fixed outdoor dining furniture or even greening elements such as planting vines, green walls or window boxes,” Verschoor said.

This comes a week after the council passed a motion for Driver’s Month this November – another bid to attract patrons to the city.

Some of the city-greening measures announced as part of the grant scheme were discussed at this week’s City of Adelaide committee meeting, held on Tuesday night, which delved into the council’s plan to prepare for the effects of climate change.

During the meeting, councillor Anne Moran said ideas around cooling the city were “lovely to talk about” but initiatives had already been “repeatedly put up by councillors… and they never get any traction.”

The report, which can be viewed online, includes information on how local government can achieve greening targets themselves, such as achieving a CBD street canopy coverage of 25 per cent (Adelaide’s is currently 14.3 per cent) by implementing infrastructure options such as green roofs, walls and screens.

Applicants for the $10,000 grant program will be judged across community, business and economic criteria, such as whether improvements promote employment opportunities, increase business investment, and bolsters the night-time economy.

Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis. Apply now.

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