Department of Treasury and Finance

Future Jobs Fund FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions–

1. Can the business case be conducted internally with existing resources?
Business case support grants are available for independently prepared business cases only. Work conducted within the organisation is not eligible to meet the matched funding requirement for business case support grants. This requirement applies to both for-profit and not for profit organisations.

Note that you may submit an application for a Future Jobs Fund grant and/or loan with an internally prepared business case.

2. What can the business case support grant be used for?
Business case support grants are for the preparation of business cases to support applications to the Future Jobs Fund for grants and loans. They are not for preliminary works related to the proposed project (such as quantity surveyors, engineering, architects etc).

3. Will organisations that receive business case support funding be required to apply for a Future Jobs Fund grant or loan, even if the business case shows that the project is not viable? 

No. Funding agreements for business case support will not require an application to be submitted for a Future Jobs Fund grant or loan.

4. When will business case support grants be paid?
Following approval, funding agreements will be signed with successful applicants for business case support, and payment made on a reimbursement basis for expenditure incurred.

5. If my application for business case support is not successful, am I still able to apply for a Future Jobs Fund grant or loan?
Yes. An unsuccessful application for business case support funding does not rule out the proposal for a Future Jobs Fund grant or loan. Similarly, a successful application for a business case support grant does not imply support for a Future Jobs Fund grant or loan.

6. How can applicants provide details that they have not been able to secure commercial finance to fund a project?
Written correspondence from a commercial financier will be considered as suitable evidence to meet this requirement.

7. Can the Future Jobs Fund grant be used to cover the salary of a new employee?
A key requirement for the Future Jobs Fund is that applicants must prove their proposal is sustainable in the long term without ongoing government support. An application seeking a Future Jobs Fund grant to directly pay ongoing employee salaries is unlikely to be able to meet this requirement.

8. What can the Future Jobs Fund grant/loan be spent on? Can it be used for acquisitions, salary, relocation and recruitment fees?
There is not a prescribed list of eligible expenditure, however it is expected that the funds will contribute towards the costs of implementing the project that has been submitted for funding support. A key requirement for the Future Jobs Fund is that the proposal is sustainable in the longer term without the need for ongoing government assistance.

Note that Section 2.1 of the Future Jobs Fund guidelines states that applications for loans may be made for assistance towards the costs of expanding an entity’s operations with the outcome of creating additional ongoing jobs. Examples include investment in new equipment, construction of infrastructure or facilities, purchase of land, and investments to enable diversification and growth.

9. When can my project commence?
Applications must demonstrate that the project can commence by 30 June 2018. Funding will not be provided for projects that have commenced or have been completed prior to the application being received by the Department of Treasury and Finance, however they may commence any time after the application is submitted (and prior to 30 June 2018). Applicants that commence a project after their application has been submitted, but before notification of the assessment outcome, do so at their own risk, as there is no commitment by the State to provide funding.

Note that applicants may be asked to provide justification for the funding request and the project commencement date should be clearly identified on the submitted project delivery timeline.

10. What do you mean by ‘commence’? Our project has been designed and approved, but is still some time away from manufacture/construction. Is it still eligible?
We understand that many projects have long lead times in terms of engineering, design and certification and don’t want to exclude those from our process if the job creating activity hasn’t yet begun. For the requirement that projects not be commenced or completed before applications are received by the Department of Treasury and Finance, ‘commence’ will be taken to mean the actual job creating activity (i.e. manufacturing) rather than the preliminary planning/design stages and the application will be eligible.

Note that the application should contain a detailed project delivery timeline.

11. What do you mean by ‘commence’? Our project will have started design, planning and approvals by 30 June 2018, but may not be in production/construction stage by that date.
Depending on the scale and nature of the project, preliminary work may be considered as meeting this requirement.

Note that the application should contain a detailed project delivery timeline.

12. Can I apply for both a Future Jobs Fund grant and loan in the same application?
Yes, the application form allows applicants to request both a grant and loan.

13. The eligibility requirements include a stipulation that the applicant must contribute an amount equivalent to the Future Jobs Fund grant. Can this contribution include the value of services provided in-kind?
For Future Jobs Fund grants: Yes, some services contributed at no additional cost may be considered for the matched funding requirement of a Future Jobs Fund grant, however preference will be given to applications where the matched funding represents an external cost to the organisation that can be clearly identified and valued.

For Business Case support grants: No. Business case support grants are available for independently prepared business cases only and work conducted within the organisation is not eligible to meet the matched funding requirement for business case support.

14. Can the matched funding requirement for a Future Jobs Fund grant include finance from other grant sources?
No. Projects with other government grant funding will still be eligible for the Future Jobs fund, however that funding will not be considered to be a matched funding contribution.

15. When will Future Jobs Fund grants and loans be paid?
Individual funding agreements will be signed with successful applicants with terms of payment to be negotiated.

Grant funding may be provided in a phased approach, based on pre-agreed performance milestones for the project including expenditures.

Loans will be available to be drawn down as performance milestones, including expenditure, are achieved.

16. If the grant is drawn down over multiple years can the applicant contribution be invested on a matching time frame?
Yes

17. What if the proposal doesn’t result in the agreed number of jobs?
Individual funding agreements will be signed with successful applicants specifying agreed performance milestones. Failure to maintain agreed targets may result in a request for all or part of the grant to be repaid.

18. Do you have a definition of ‘advanced manufacturing’?
The following definition is from the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre: Advanced manufacturing is the application of leading edge technical knowledge and expertise to the creation of products, productions processes and associated services for the purpose of sustaining high growth and customer satisfaction.

19. Where can I find more information about the requirement to use Australian certified steel?
See the South Australian Steel Economic Participation Policy.

20.  Are interest-only loans available?
It is intended that loans be repayable on a principal and interest basis.

21.  Will there be a second funding round?
The Future Jobs Fund is currently limited to one round.  Decisions regarding subsequent rounds will depend on the amount of funding allocated to successful applications in the current round relative to the total budget for the Future Jobs Fund.

22.   Can applications be submitted for industries outside of the 5 key industries?
Yes.  The Government has identified the 5 key industries as areas of focus, however applications for other industries will also be considered.

23.  Is there a benchmark cost per job for projects?
One of the key decision making criteria for Future Jobs Fund grants and loans is that they must provide value for money in terms of Budget cost per job created for comparable job types.  The applications received for business case grants revealed that the best value for money proposals indicatively required grant support of $10,000 per job.  This is consistent with the State’s experience in supporting other businesses through the Investment Attraction agency and other similar programs.  This was not a metric used to approve or not approve applications for business case support.   Meeting or not meeting this target does not qualify or disqualify an application for grants or loans, but does provide some broad indication in relation to the value for money element of the assessment. In addition, the evaluation process will consider a range of issues including the cost to government, the number of jobs created, the type and skill level of occupations, the location of employment, and the sustainability of the proposal.

24.  Will I receive feedback on my application?
You will be given the opportunity to request feedback on your application.

25.  Will the loans be fixed or variable?
Government’s preference is that loans are fixed interest loans to provide the borrower with cost certainty over the term of the loan, and to give the State (the lender) comfort that with cost certainty the risk of default is reduced.

26.  Can I apply for both the Future Jobs Fund and the Jobs Accelerator Grant?
Yes

27.  Can I apply for multiple projects?
Yes

28.  Can I still apply for the future Jobs Fund if I receive grant funding from other state or Commonwealth programs?
Yes

29.  Is the purchase of land an acceptable expense under the Future Jobs Fund?
Yes, the purchase of land is an acceptable expense.  Note that the key consideration for the Governance Committee is the creation of sustainable employment, so the application (through the business case and financial projections) needs to clearly demonstrate a link between the project expenditure and the resulting employment.

30.  When can the project start?
Projects may commence any time after the application is submitted to the Department of Treasury and Finance (and prior to 30 June 2018). Applicants that commence a project after their application has been submitted (which can be done between now and 29 September), but before notification of the assessment outcome (30 November), do so at their own risk, as there is no commitment by the State to provide funding. Note that applicants may be asked to provide justification for the funding request and the project commencement date should be clearly identified on the submitted project delivery timeline.

31.   Is there any special consideration given to applications from the regions?
There is no extra weighting given to applications from regions, however it is expected that a mix of applications from across industries and regions will be supported.

32.  Will you consider applications that have a job retention component?
Applicants may apply where there is a job retention component, however the main focus of the Future Jobs Fund is additional job creation.

33.  Can small businesses and associations collaborate?
Yes, collaboration is supported.

34.  Our organisation received an early commercialisation grant, are we still eligible?
Yes

35.  How will job creation be measured?  Will job creation performance milestones be based on total organisation employment, or project specific?
Performance milestones will be individually negotiated with successful applicants.  For larger organisations delivering multiple projects this may involve project specific employment milestones.

36.  Is it ok to commence work with business case service providers prior to the business case support grant funding agreement being executed?
While it is ok to proceed with business case services prior to the funding agreement has been executed, there is a risk that a business case support grant recipient may not agree with some of the terms within the funding agreement and that by undertaking procurement of business case services prior agreeing to the contract, they bear that risk and its associated consequences. Business case support funding must only be used for business cases completed by a suitably qualified professional person/organisation operating within South Australia.

37.  What can be used as security for a Future Jobs Fund loan?
Security depends on the circumstances of the Borrower; including its assets and liabilities. The security package is tailored to the Borrower’s circumstances to ensure the State’s debt is fully secured and risk is minimised. Examples of securities the government take include:

  1. Registered mortgage over real estate. A second ranking mortgage is acceptable and the government would expect to have a Priority Deed with the first ranking lender.
  2. General Security over the assets of the Borrower. Again, a second ranking General Security can suffice and again a Priority Deed with the first ranking secured party would be expected.
  3. Guarantees from parent or related companies.
  4. Personal guarantees of directors.

38.  Can the matched funding requirement for a Future Jobs Fund grant include the Future Jobs Fund loan?
No. The matched funding requirement for a Future Jobs Fund grant cannot be met through a Future Jobs Fund loan.  For example, an application for a project with a total project cost of $10 million could receive a $2.5 million grant and $5 million loan, with a $2.5 million matching contribution from external sources meeting the matched funding requirement.  However a $10 million project could not receive a $5 million grant and $5 million loan because the matching criteria would not be met.

39.  Is an Australian Registered Body Number (ARBN) sufficient or do applicants require an Australian Business Number (ABN)?
The organisation is required to have an Australian Business Number to be eligible for the Future Jobs Fund.   Generally speaking, an entity conducting business within Australia will have both an ARBN and an ABN.

40.  Can the capital purchased using a Future Jobs Fund grant or loan be used as collateral for the loan, similar to a mortgage?
In most cases the capital asset purchased with grant/loan funding can be used as real collateral to secure the loan recipient’s obligations.

41.  The guidelines state “a recent, full financial statement” is required to be submitted in support of an application. How recent should the financial statements be?
We require financial statements that have been professionally prepared by an independent accountant for 2016-17. If the 2016-17 statements  have not yet been prepared, management accounts for the period ending 30 June 2017 and financial statements for 2015-16 will be sufficient to meet this requirement. Note that DTF may also request financial statements from previous years when undertaking due diligence on applications.

42.  Can business case support funding recipients engage multiple consultants for the preparation of their business case?
The preference is that one business case provider be engaged per proposal. Notwithstanding this, if additional consultants are directly required for the production of the business case and all activity relates solely to the production of the business case and not to the implementation of the project, then multiple consultants may be used.

Business case support funding must only be used for business cases completed by a suitably qualified professional person/organisation operating within South Australia. As outlined in the Future Jobs Fund guidelines, the business case will outline the nature of the project, the costs of the project, demonstrate how it will be able to sustain ongoing jobs etc.

The business case itself does not need detailed drawings etc, but consultant who is doing the business case would need to estimate the cost of having all those things done in order to estimate what the total project cost.

There is a distinction between a) the cost of the consultant gathering the information they need to develop the business case and b) the cost of doing the things to make the project happen (getting detailed drawings done, planning consents etc).  Only a) relates to the business case grant.  b) relates to the next stage which is the cost of doing the project and the grant/loan request to make the project happen.

43.  Is an Industry Participation Plan (IPP) required to be submitted for requests over $2.5 million?
Applicants are not required to submit an Industry Participation Plan with their application.  Applications requesting Government support over $2.5 million will be reviewed for consistency with the Industry Participation Policy. For further information, see sections 3.8 and 3.9 of the Industry Participation Policy Procedural Guidelines.

Enquiries

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