Arts and Creative Industries Business Growth Package FAQs

The TSRA

When will the Arts and Creative Industries Business Growth Package applications open and when do they close?

Applications will open on 3 July 2017 and will remain open until otherwise advised.

How much funding is available under the Business Growth Package?

Up to $500,000 is available each year to an individual or organisation under the Business Growth Package to support Torres Strait Islander and/or Aboriginal business development in the Torres Strait Region. Additional support is available through the TSRAs Arts and Creative Industries Into Business Workshops, mentoring and support services, the TSRA business support standing panel and the TSRA business loan scheme.

What does the term Arts and Creative Industries mean?

The Arts and Creative Industries refers to a broad grouping of individuals and organisations (businesses) that turn original creativity into commercial outcomes. Highly dependent on creative talent, Arts and creative industries can be distinguished from other industries by the fact that creativity is their primary source of value.

What sorts of businesses and industries are included in the Arts and Creative Industries?

The Arts & Creative Industries include six broad segments or types of creative individuals and businesses.They include: Music, Visual & Performing Arts (e.g. musicians, singers, dancers, actors, jewellery-makers, weavers, sculptors and hair & make-up artists); Film, TV & Radio (e.g. video producers, media professionals, radio journalists and radio presenters); Writing & Publishing (e.g. creative writers, authors, curators and journalists); Software and Digital Content (e.g. computer animators, software designers, video game designers); Advertising and Marketing (e.g. marketing and advertising specialists, copywriters, public relations specialists); Architecture and Design (e.g. architects, landscape architects, graphic designers, web designers, photographers, illustrators, fashion designers, interior designers). Note: As a creative individual or business, you may fit more than one of the categories listed above. That’s OK.

How is the Arts and Creative Industries different to traditional and contemporary Torres Strait Arts?

Traditional and contemporary Torres Strait Art includes, for example, music, singing, dance and the visual arts. These artistic endeavors are often non-commercial or not-for-profit in nature and their value is recognised in the contribution they make to individual and community wellbeing through artistic expression and enjoyment. These Torres Strait Arts, if transformed into commercial outcomes, also form part of what is a broader collection of activities known as the Arts and Creative Industries.

What does insolvent and insolvency mean?

The term insolvent or insolvency can apply to either an individual or a business, but is more often used in relation to a business or company. A business is said to be insolvent when it cannot pay its debts when they are due.

What does commercially-viable mean?

Commercially-viable refers to the ability of a business, product or service to compete effectively and make a profit (without permanent ongoing government support).

What does value for money mean?

Value for money is a term used to assess whether or not the TSRA, in delivering the products and services it provides, will obtain the maximum benefit possible within the resources available to it, to achieve stated economic development policy and strategy objectives in line with the Torres Strait Development Plan, 2014-2018.

What is economic development?

Economic development is about growing the Torres Strait Regions income and wealth and distributing that wealth to the communities through business creation and employment. It involves Indigenous people in employment, business, asset and wealth creation in the communities and regions where they live.

What does financial sustainability and financial viability mean?

These two terms mean to the same thing, which is the ability of a business to generate sufficient income to meet business operating expenses, debt commitments and where applicable, to allow for profit and growth.

Were an existing business wanting help to restructure our business, but we don't need any money. Is the Business Growth Package funding and support for us?

No. In this case you might like to check out the Business Product Selector tool on the TSRA website to see what other products and support is available. If you need help with this, you can contact us at economic@tsra.gov.au.

I or my company is non-Indigenous. Is there any way I/we can access assistance?

Yes. You may wish to consider partnering with a Torres Strait Islander and/or Aboriginal entrepreneur or business bearing in mind that the business must be at least 50 per cent Torres Strait Islander and/or Aboriginal owned and based in the Torres Strait Region.

What does entrepreneur mean?

An Entrepreneur is someone who starts up and runs a business to make a profit, taking on financial risk to do so. You can learn more at; https://www.business.qld.gov.au/business/business-improvement/being-an-entrepreneur

What does finance ready mean?

For a business to be finance ready, it will need to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of a lender, that the business proposal is or has good prospects for commercial viability and financial sustainability. Individual lenders such as banks will have their own criteria and procedures for determining whether or not a business proposal is finance ready.

What is collateral?

Collateral refers to security offered by a borrower to a lender for the payment of a loan. Collateral can take a number of forms, for example, the borrowers house or other assets, which would be forfeited (lost) by the borrower in the event of a default on (failure to repay) the loan.

I am a performing artists living in the Torres Strait Region. My business is located here in the region but my main performance display studio and my main audience is down south in Cairns where I perform concerts. Am I eligible for support?

Yes, as long as your registered principal place of business is in the Torres Strait Region and you are a Torres Strait Islander or Aboriginal person living in the Torres Strait Region, then you are eligible to apply for support under the Business Growth Package.

What is an unincorporated body?

An unincorporated body refers to a business that does not possess a separate legal identity from its owner(s). The owner(s) bear full liability for any action or inaction of the business: they may sue and be sued for business activity or inactivity. Unincorporated enterprises include sole proprietorships, partnerships and family trusts.

What is an incorporated body?

An incorporated body is a legally declared corporate entity in its own right that is separate from its owners and which continues regardless of changes to its ownership or membership. Incorporation under Australian legislation is under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 or the Corporations Act 2001.

What is a partnership?

A partnership is an arrangement in which two or more people pool their money, skills and other resources, and share profit and loss of a business venture in accordance with the terms of the partnership agreement. Various arrangements are possible. For example, all individuals involved in the partnership (the partners) might share liabilities and profits equally, or some partners may have limited liability.

What is a consortium?

A consortium is a group of individuals, businesses, investors or organisations joining together as one for a common purpose such as the establishment of a new business venture (joint venture).

What is a joint venture?

A joint venture (JV) is a contractual business arrangement between two or more individuals or organisations without actual partnership or incorporation meaning each party to the joint venture retains their distinct legal identities.

What is the definition of a small business?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines small business as a business that employs fewer than 20 people.

Categories of small business include:

  • Non-employing businesses (sole proprietorships and partnerships without employees)
  • Micro-businesses (businesses employing between one and four people including non-employing businesses)
  • Other small businesses (businesses that employ between five and nineteen employees)

Small businesses are more likely to have independent ownership and be operated independently. Owners or managers of small businesses tend to have close control of operations, undertake principal decision making and contribute most of the operating capital.

How is funding different to financing?

Funding is the act of providing financial resources, either in the form of money or other in-kind values such as effort or time, to finance a program or project, usually by an organisation or government.

Financing on the other hand refers to the act of providing money for business activities, making purchases or investing. Financial institutions and banks are in the business of financing as they provide capital to businesses and investors to help them achieve their goals.

We are a new business just starting up and we are seeking support to help develop our business idea. Can the funding be used for this?

The Business Growth Package is focused on more mature businesses and proposals with a well-developed business case. It may be that your business is not yet ready for Business Growth Package support and instead, other forms of assistance such as the TSRAs Into Business Workshops may be more suited to your needs. If you are unsure, you should undertake the REIS self-assessment tool here.

For more information, contact the TSRA at economic@tsra.gov.au and we will help you identify what type of business assistance might be available to you.

We want to establish an Indigenous community-run social enterprise. Should we apply?

No. The Business Growth Package is not available for not-for-profit organisations. However, your organisation may be eligible for support through other TSRA Programmes such as Healthy and Safe Communities and Culture, Art and Heritage common funding rounds. You may also be eligible for other government and non-government programmes such as the Community Development Programme or Indigenous Enterprise Funding delivered by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Information on these and other programmes is available on the TSRA website www.tsra.gov.au.

As a first step you are encouraged to complete the TSRA online Business Product Selector tool. If you need help with this, you should contact us at economic@tsra.gov.au.

We are a not-for-profit arts and cultural centre looking for assistance to help protect, promote and maintain local arts cultural heritage. Can the funding be used for this?

No. The Business Growth Package is focused on providing support for the development of commercially-viable businesses. It specifically targets entrepreneurs and businesses from start-up to expansion. If you are looking for support to develop your arts centre or cultural centre, you may be eligible for a grant or other support delivered by the TSRAs Culture, Art and Heritage Programme. For more information, contact the TSRA at economic@tsra.gov.au and we can put you in contact with a Culture, Art and Heritage Programme team member.

We are an existing business that is owned by an arts centre and we are seeking support to help grow our business. Can the funding be used for this?

A: Yes, so long as you are a registered business and the business owners are Torres Strait Islanders or Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait Region and you meet all the Business Growth Package eligibility criteria.

We are a commercially-run arts centre selling art for profit and we are seeking support to help grow our business. Can the funding be used for this?

Yes, so long as you are a registered business and the business owners are Torres Strait Islanders or Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait Region and you meet all the Business Growth Package eligibility criteria.

I have a great idea but no previous experience running a business. Should I apply for funding?

If you are unsure, you should first complete the online self-assessment tool on the TSRA website www.tsra.gov.au or if you need further assistance contact us on economic@tsra.gov.au and we will help you work out if you are ready to apply. If you haven't run a business, but have experience in the Arts and Creative Industries, or have worked in a general business environment, or have experience from other activities you have undertaken, the TSRA may be able to assist you to progress your idea through the TSRAs Arts and Creative Industries Into Business Workshops. The workshops are designed to help you to develop your business past the idea stage to a well-researched business proposal that is finance-ready.

I don't have a business plan. Will development of a business plan be funded?

A business plan can be very simple so you may already have enough information to put something together. If you need help with this, you should contact us on economic@tsra.gov.au as you may be eligible to attend the TSRAs Arts and Creative Industries Into Business Workshops. The workshops are designed to help you to develop your business past the idea stage to a well-researched business proposal that is finance-ready.

I think I need some training to do my business payroll and invoicing. Can training be funded?

Training may be included in the package of support services offered to successful applicants.

I don't want a loan. Can I get a small grant to start up my business?

No. Under the Business Growth Package grants will only be available to cover part of the funding you require to help grow your business. The grant will help you get started and may give the TSRA or a commercial lender the confidence to give you a loan. Research shows that when an owner has a financial stake in their business, long-term success is more likely. And paying off even a small loan is a good way to build your credit history and demonstrate your reliability. This will allow you to grow your business and better manage your businesss finances.

Are there any GST or income tax-related issues involved in receiving funding?

Yes. If you receive a grant/loan package, the Funding Agreement for the grant component will outline the taxes (including GST), duties and government charges for which you will be responsible.

I just want a small amount of money to buy a few tools to help me become self- employed. Can the funding be used for this?

If the amount of money you need is quite small (less than $20,000), we may refer you to a micro-finance lender. Micro-finance lenders specialise in lending to very small businesses (typically from one to four employees), and provide tailored support before, during and after the loan has been approved. Check out our website for further information about how the TSRA can assist you with access to micro-finance lenders such as the National Australia Bank. If you need help with this, you should contact us at economic@tsra.gov.au.

I have a really good relationship with a business consultant. Can I choose this consultant to help me develop my business?

If you already have a mentor, consultant or business advisor, and you want to continue working with them, let us know. We might also ask you to consider another advisor, because sometimes fresh ideas can really help a business move to the next level or open up your business networks.

What if my preferred lender isn't interested in giving me a loan for my business idea?

We will make sure your business proposal undergoes a commercial viability assessment. If your preferred commercial lender declines to review your application, we will review your application for a TSRA business loan.

I'm not Indigenous but I would really like assistance to set up a business and employ local Indigenous people. Is the funding for me?

No. The Business Growth Package funding is only available for Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people residing in the Torres Strait Region. You may wish to consider partnering with a Torres Strait Islander and/or Aboriginal entrepreneur or business, bearing in mind that the business must be at least fifty per cent Torres Strait Islander and/or Aboriginal owned.

You may also be eligible for other products and services, check out our website to see whats available. If you need help with this, you should contact us at economic@tsra.gov.au.

I am a successful business consultant. Can I get funding to support the development of Indigenous businesses in the Torres Strait Region?

No. Business support services for businesses will be procured by the TSRA. The TSRA has established a business support services panel to facilitate the procurement of these services.

We are dancers seeking support to attend and perform at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. Can Business Growth Package funding be used for this?

No. The Business Growth Package is focussed on providing support for the development of commercially-viable businesses. As an artist looking for support to attend the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair or another similar event, you may be eligible for a grant or other support delivered by the TSRAs Culture, Art and Heritage Programme including the Torres Strait Dance Strategy Expression of Interest process. For more information, contact the TSRA at economic@tsra.gov.auandnbsp;andnbsp;and we can put you in contact with a Culture, Art and Heritage Programme team member.

Were an Indigenous organisation looking to set up an creative business in our community. We have a non-Indigenous private sector partner who will be contributing funding and in-kind assistance. Can we receive funding and support too?

You can receive funding as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. To be eligible, your business must be 50 per cent owned by a person(s) of Torres Strait Islander and /or Aboriginal descent who resides in the Torres Strait Region, for- profit and have commercial potential, and funding you must represent value-for-money. To help us assess value-for-money, you should outline how much assistance or funding your partner is proposing to give you and why you require additional support from the TSRA. We may work with you and your partner to get more information or try to facilitate more private sector support for your application.

What does value for money mean?

Value for money is a term used to assess whether or not the TSRA, in delivering the products and services it provides, will obtain the maximum benefit possible within the resources available to it, to achieve stated economic development policy and strategy objectives in line with the Torres Strait Development Plan, 2014-2018.

I am a modelling agency based in Townsville and occasionally I employ Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people living in the Torres Strait Region. Am I eligible for support?

No, to be eligible for support under the Business Growth Package your registered principal place of business must be in the Torres Strait Region and you must be a Torres Strait Islander or Aboriginal person living in the Torres Strait Region.

I don't want to start a business but I would like support to help me develop my skills as an artist. Can Business Growth Package funding be used for this?

No. The Business Growth Package is focused on providing support for the development of commercially-viable businesses. It specifically targets entrepreneurs and businesses from start-up to expansion. If you are looking for support to develop your skills as an artist or you would like to learn how to develop your profile as an artist and your career in the arts industry, you may be eligible for a grant or other support delivered by the TSRAs Culture, Art and Heritage Programme. For more information, contact the TSRA at economic@tsra.gov.au and we can put you in contact with a Culture, Art and Heritage Programme team member.

I am a Torres Strait artist and I want to learn more about how to protect my intellectual property through things like copyright. Is the Business Growth Package for me?

No. The Business Growth Package is focused on providing support for the development of commercially-viable businesses. If you are looking for support to develop your knowledge and skills as an artist, you may be eligible for assistance delivered by the TSRAs Culture, Art and Heritage Programme. For more information, contact the TSRA at economic@tsra.gov.auandnbsp;andnbsp;and we can put you in contact with a Culture, Art and Heritage Programme team member.

I am an artist and I am looking for funding support to help me participate in an art show in Brisbane. Can Business Growth Package funding be used for this?

No. The Business Growth Package is focused on providing support for the development of commercially-viable businesses. As an artist looking for support to attend or participate in an event, you may be eligible for a grant or other support delivered by the TSRAs Culture, Art and Heritage Programme. For more information, contact the TSRA at economic@tsra.gov.au and we can put you in contact with a Culture, Art and Heritage Programme team member.

I am submitting my application in hard copy. What do I need to do?

When submitting a hard copy application, you must print off the online application form, complete it, and submit two unbound copies to the address at the front of the application kit. If you require more space for the written responses, please attach additional pages.

In the application form, the authorised person who is completing the form and filling in the declaration should sign their name under the box labelled: “Position of Authorised Officer”.

If you are supplying information as part of your application in the form of multi-media files/presentation or videos, these must be supplied on a USB drive or portable hard drive along with your hard copy application.

Can TSRA staff help me prepare my application?

Staff in the TSRA are available to answer any queries you have on the application or the funding, however they cannot help you with financial or business planning.

I am finding it hard to answer the questions on the form because I don't have many answers yet. Should I bother applying?

If you are unsure, you should undertake the self-assessment tool available on the TSRA website www.tsra.gov.au. If you need further assistance contact the TSRAs Economic Development Programme on economic@tsra.gov.au and we will help you work out if you are ready to apply.

It may be that you would benefit from undertaking the TSRAs Arts and Creative Industries Into Business Workshops as a first step. The work you would do in the workshops will help you to research your business proposal more fully and get it to the finance-ready stage. This will put you in a better position to answer the questions.

Who should I contact if I need more information?

As a first step you might like to check out our website, if you still need more information, you can send your enquiry to economic@tsra.gov.au.