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  • #1218586
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,703
    Johny, post: 263686, member: 34822 wrote:
    In the end Bert, there are different types of grants for different types of things.

    If a community can’t highlight the reason for/benefits of the grant they want, then I go back to my original comment. Either the process is too complicated and/or you question the competence of those in the community.

    Rubbish. Any decent small business person has a large number of skills. They are constantly selling themselves, their products etc.If you have a local council, a rotary club and all manner of different places within a community, and can’t come up with a resource/s to structure a request, then got to wonder. (Enlisting a friend of a friend for example?)

    Back in the mid 90’s I worked in one of the worst drought affected areas in Qld. I was constantly writing reviews about farmers who had to alter repayment arrangements, restructure finance etc. Somehow they managed to apply for govt grants at the time, in some cases 10’s of thousands of $$, and they managed to do it all by themselves. (People whose core function is planting stuff and then cutting /picking it after a few months.)

    Those were of course the days where we would get local community groups asking us to audit their books, which we did as individuals for nothing – you know, mucking in as part of a community. That seemed to work well until the rules were changed and they had to be audited by paid professionals – taking money out of the hands of the relevant group – ie meaning less they could use to support their cause.

    If a grant is required, in a case like drought were the applicant relies on it for survival during a tough period, then the reason and benefit are simple. It will take a lot to convince me that part of those funds should go to someone to write the application. I would even go as far as saying it shouldn’t be allowed.

    Times change. Part of the problem is that back in the day people were less likely to abuse the process (sure there were some). Fast forward to present day (with internet) and if you had a simple grant process you can be sure as anything there will be a large number of fraudulent or highly questionable claims submitted. It’s the way of the world with everyone looking to game the system. In the last few months there have been tens of thousands of sophisticated bogus ATO calls scamming people out of tens of thousands of dollars. Its far more effective than the old Nigerian scam.

    The days of things being simple are long gone. Ironically the only people NOT accountable to layers of vetting are politicians (law makers) themselves. The recent citizenship debacle is a great example. Not even vetted for eligibility to be a Federal politician – what a joke.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. info@360partners.com.au www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1218587
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    James, people have been ripping off govt (and others) forever. Tax office, CES, eachother, and it goes on. Even get complaints about people ripping off the self service at woollies these days? Someone has, and always will find a way if they want to.

    Noone who gets paid to do something (get grants approved for example) has ever fudged an application???

    I have never said the process has to be simple.You want a grant, prove it. If you want a grant for drought assistance there are avenues to prove you need it. You make it sound like I am suggesting people log into a website ask for money and it just spits out somewhere.

    What I am saying is that if someone wants a grant then they should be able to complete the process. Something like doing your taxes/applying for a loan – everyone has the ability to do their own taxes if they wish, but the circumstances are different from a grant in that you decide how to spend your own money, and have the ability to pay an accountant.

    The days of simple are long gone? What on earth is the internet if it isn’t a medium for making things simple, or at least simpler.???

    But that’s beside the point.

    Some here feel it is warranted to take a cut out of money for someone who needs it, and pay it to someone to apply for the grant. I feel the system needs to be such that those who need it are able to apply themselves.

    There is a lawyer in the marketing section asking about lead magnets. Instead of a lawyer/accountant or any other professional writing “5 things you can do……” blog posts, imagine the goodwill and positive reputation reinforcement they would get from actually doing something for someone as part of the community, rather than just telling them about it? Done right, some of the best advertising they could do.

    Anyway we won’t agree so much of all this is moot.

    As for the politicians – straw man argument there.

    In any case, if you look at arguments by the likes of Matt Canavan about his citizenship, there are some contentious things there that offer an example of why this is not such a joke.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-28/dual-citizenship-saga-politicians-back-ignorance-legal-argument/8998202

    #1218588
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,703

    When you say “if someone wants a grant they should be able to complete the process” – what does that “someone” look like? Are they fluent in English? Are they financially skilled enough to prepare a five year financial forecast that integrates AND reconciles a profit and loss statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet? Or are these things not required because they are not important in determining suitability for funding? My understanding is that grants are not intended as a windfall handout to the fortunate recipient. They are designed to enhance the economy by supporting activities that the commercial markets are not prepared to support. Presumably any Govt support is with the objective of creating a net economic benefit.

    If you want design a process that allows anyone to submit a grant application then its going to have to be dumbed down to an almost pointless level. Yes there are a lot of not so clever people in business (or trying to get into). Maybe we disagree on that.

    Sorry but I think the internet has turbo charged fraud (the context of my statement) – but yes I like that it can now turn on my tv whilst I’m in my car 10kms away. Very handy for my dog who is prone to loneliness. My life is better but my personal information is not necessarily safer.

    My reference to politicians and the citizenship issue is merely to highlight what happens in the absence of strict vetting. It was assumed (wrongly) that the highest lawmakers in this country (no less) were equipped to self assess their eligibility for their positions as elected federal members of parliament. There was no agency that undertook screening prior to nomination or swearing in. As it turns out, numerous members incorrectly self assessed their eligibility (to varying degrees of awareness). Given their positions I have little (no) sympathy because in my experience the law rarely affords the average citizen with such leniency if they try to plead ignorance as a defense. The joke is that there was not a process that independently verified the facts PRIOR to acceptance.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. info@360partners.com.au www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1218589
    Johny
    Member
    • Total posts: 840

    Sorry but I think the internet has turbo charged fraud (the context of my statement) – but yes I like that it can now turn on my tv whilst I’m in my car 10kms away. Very handy for my dog who is prone to loneliness. My life is better but my personal information is not necessarily safer.

    I had started a reply then realised there really isn’t much point after rereading that as part of a rebuttal.

    #1218590
    Government Grant Guru
    Member
    • Total posts: 42
    Viknan, post: 263643, member: 113349 wrote:
    Hello Soloists and FS Team,

    I would like to say thank you for accepting my sign up and I look forward to navigating my through the site and learning new skills. I am nervously embarking on a new sideline as a grant officer/consultant to the sole trading/small businesses here in rural SW QLD as well as the community organisations. I see the potential of what my support can do, I have been successful in obtaining grants and I feel confident I understand my demographical area and obligations required for the funding.

    Many businesses are too busy battling drought and other personal and business matters to seek and apply for grants or assistance and some are not technology confident.

    So here I am…but I need help if anyone on FS can spare some knowledge I would appreciate the advice. I won’t be a free service and I’m battling to get my head around a fair fee that can benefit everyone.

    Thanks for the opportunity to introduce myself. Looking forward to collaborating with the community

    Regards
    Vik

    When I started out, I offered hourly rate with a total fee guidance, now it is mainly a set upfront fee.

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