What is the Business Improvement Fund?

The Business Improvement Fund will assist residential aged care providers to improve their business operations. It will help providers ensure they are meeting senior Australians’ needs.

The fund provides around $85 million to support providers who face significant financial difficulty. It will focus on residential providers at greatest risk of service failure, particularly where there are impacts on residents.

Why is the Business Improvement Fund important?

Residential 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.

For further information read the Accessing Grants from the Business Improvement Fund presentation slides, or watch the recorded webinar from Aged and Community Services Australia.

What are the goals of the Business Improvement Fund?

The aim of the fund is to provide targeted, grant-based assistance to residential aged care providers.

The fund will target providers at greatest risk of service failure, particularly where there are impacts on residents.

How will we meet these goals?

We set up the fund to improve residential aged care at both the local and system level.

Providers can use the funding to:

  • improve their business, for example to restructure business operations and upgrade financial management and IT systems
  • transition a business to a new provider
  • close down a business in a safe and orderly manner and transition residents to other facilities (where there’s no other option)

We will monitor funded organisations to:

  • reduce the likelihood of future viability or quality assurance issues
  • hold organisations accountable for the funds provided

Who works with us on the Business Improvement Fund?

The Department of Health oversees and distributes the grants paid from the fund.

Who is eligible?

Any residential care provider can apply (other than state/territory-owned providers of residential care or multi-purpose services). However, the fund primarily supports small- to medium-sized residential care providers, which:

  • have limited access to other financial support
  • are facing significant financial pressures which may impact on care to residents or risk service closure

We will prioritise those residential providers:

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

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

We will also prioritise provider applications where:

  • the provider has no or limited access to other sources of funds or support
  • the provider’s financial position increases the risk of service closure or impacts on resident care
  • the provider has a clear business strategy showing how they would use funding to improve and support their ongoing viability
  • there are no concerns with the provider’s record, capability and capacity to provide quality care

Depending on circumstances, the Business Advisory Service may need to first assess applicants.

What level of funding is available to providers?

Generally, funding will not exceed $7,500 per operational residential care bed.

In the case of a sale of a business, funding will not exceed $15,000 per operational residential care bed.

Status

Grant opportunities for the Business Improvement Fund for residential aged care are now open.

How to apply

Applications must be submitted via GrantConnect by 2:00pm AEST on 30 April 2021.

For more information, and to submit your application form, visit the GrantConnect website.

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: 
19 November 2020