Applications now open for Government’s $50 million aged care Business Improvement Fund

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As we covered in our 1 February, 232nd edition (yes, it was two months ago), Aged Care Minister Senator Richard Colbeck launched the $48.7 million BIF to provide short-term grants for small to medium-sized aged care providers – particularly those in rural and remote areas and in bushfire-affected areas at most risk of going under – in the wake of Australia’s horrific 2019-20 bushfire season.

The grants are more of a stop-gap measure than a lifeline however.

Providers can only apply for three reasons:

  • To improve their business operations including financial management and IT systems;
  • To transfer ownership of a facility to another provider; or
  • To close their doors.

The guidelines state: “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.”

If you have a small 40-bed facility with 75% occupancy, that is a maximum of $225,000 – enough to cover the costs of a new IT system, staff training to use it and not much else.

If you opt to sell, that is $450,000 – which will pay some creditors and staff entitlements, but again is unlikely to cover costs.

Still, with the current situation pushing residential aged care to the edge – highlighted in Tuesday’s report on Ansell Strategic’s warning to Government on the risk of providers refunding RADs without new residents coming in – the funding should assist some operators in keeping their doors open – or leaving the sector.

If you would like to apply, you need to submit your application via GrantConnect by 2pm (AEST) on 15 May 2020.

For more information, click here.

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