What is the Business Improvement Fund?

The $50 million Business Improvement Fund helps residential care providers improve their business operations.

The fund supports providers who face severe financial difficulty. It focuses on those at greatest risk of service failure, where the impacts on residents would be highest.

Why is the Business Improvement Fund important?

Aged care providers and their dedicated staff play a critical role in protecting senior Australians — some of our most vulnerable citizens.

The recent bushfires badly affected some providers. The costs of evacuating and protecting residents has been significant.

We will consider eligible bushfire-affected providers as a high priority under the fund.

What are the goals of the Business Improvement Fund?

The aim of the fund is to give:

  • short-term, targeted, grant-based assistance to providers who need it the most
  • support to providers to help them better deliver care

How will we meet these goals?

The fund will improve residential aged care at both the local and system level.

Providers can use the funding to:

  • support a provider to go through a process of business improvement for example to assist in the restructuring of business operations and upgrading of financial management and IT systems
  • support the transition of a business to a new provider
  • where there is no other option, support the safe and orderly close down of a business and transition of resident’s to appropriate alternative facilities

We will monitor funded organisations to:

  • reduce the likelihood of future with viability or quality assurance issues
  • ensure accountability for funds provided

Who works with us on the Business Improvement Fund?

The Department of Health oversees and distributes the fund.

Who is eligible?

Any residential care provider in severe financial difficulty can apply. We will also prioritise those in rural and remote areas and those who were affected by bushfires.

Providers must provide full disclosure of their financial position. We will assess their finances and operations to determine whether to approve funding.

We will also look at whether :

  • the provider has no or limited access to other sources of funds or support
  • the financial position of the provider and degree of risk of service closure or impacts on resident care
  • a clear business strategy showing how any funding provided would be used to improve and support the ongoing long term viability of the provider
  • the provider’s record, capability and capacity to provide quality care

How will we distribute the fund?

We will prioritise providers:

  • in rural and remote areas
  • affected by the 2019–20 bushfires

Depending on circumstances, applicants might need to first be assessed through the Business Advisory Service.

What can you use funding for?

The assessment process will determine:

  • how much funding a provider can receive
  • what they can use the funding for

 Providers can’t use the funding to fund ongoing operating expenses.

Status

Applications are expected to open at the end of February 2020.

We will give more details on eligibility and processes when applications open.

Related information

The funding builds on the Business Advisory Service, which helps eligible providers’ operations into the future.

Business Improvement Fund for Residential Care fact sheet

This fact sheet gives information about the Business Improvement Fund, which helps residential aged care providers at risk of not meeting residents' needs due to severe financial difficulty.

Last updated: 
31 January 2020
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