COVID-19 Update: EMDG Scheme Boost

April 1st, 2020

This morning, Austrade announced some significant plans to assist in cash flow for EMDG applicants, and widening the goal posts for EMDG eligibility, meaning more businesses will have access to a larger pool of EMDG funding for 2020 financial year applications submitted after 1st July 2020.

The Morrison Government have committed an additional $49.8 million into the EMDG funding pool, designed to help businesses effected by the impacts of Covid-19.


Expenses Impacted by Covid-19

Austrade will accept all eligible promotional expenses incurred in a 2020 financial year EMDG claim, even if the eligible promotional activity didn’ttake place due to of Covid-19 restrictions.

This means that for artist impacted by the cancellation of SXSW for example, who are out of pocket on eligible expenses, these expenses are still able to be claimed via the EMDG scheme.

We’ve seen a number of North American and European Spring tours effected, and many airfares and other production expenses falling outside insurance claim guidelines.

This decision by Austrade will mean these expenses are still able to be claimed under a 2020 application.

It’s important to remember that all other eligibility criteria will apply in this case, meaning that any touring expenses will only be accepted into an EMDG claim if they were part of a budgeted loss making tour.


Waiver of the Export Earnings test

Any EMDG claim submitted for the 2020 financial year, will not be subject to the standard export earnings measures for claim years 3 through to 8.

Traditionally, the maximum EMDG funding available to a 3rd year applicant would be no more than 40% of their total export earnings for that particular claim year. This decreases each year after, as shown in the below table.

For example:
An artist is claiming their 3rd year application.

In 2020, they grossed a total of $100,000 in export earnings, and had $200,000 worth of eligible EMDG expenditure.

Traditionally, the maximum EMDG refund available to them would be $40,000 (40% off gross export earnings)

With these export earnings measures removed for 2020, the artist would be entitled to a full 50% refund on their $200,000 worth of eligible expenditure.

Second Tranche Payout

Austrade have also announced the 2nd tranche payment for 2020 applicants will be 100%, and that the 2nd tranche payment date has been brought forward from 30th June to 31st March for approved applicants.

In less fancy terms, “2nd tranche” refers to the 2nd instalment of EMDG funding in relation to a single approved claim.

For example:
An artist submits a claim for $155,000 eligible EMDG expenses.

Once approved, Austrade take subtract the $5,000 expenditure threshold, then apply the 50% reimbursement.

This leaves a total claim of $75,000.

Traditionally, the first $40,000 is paid to the applicant on approval, and the remaining $35,000 is held onto by Austrade and only a portion of those funds are paid out based on the % of funds remaining on the EMDG pool.

This new 2020 measure ensures that the full $75,000 will be paidout in full across the 2 tranche payments.


White Sky are part of the QIP (Quality Incentive Program) for EMDG and have an extended application period, which rages from 1st July 2020 to 28th Feb 2021.

We’ll be accepting applicants for the 2020 financial year in preparation for the 1st July opening.

For any specific enquiries about EMDG eligibility or how these new measures will affect your business, we’re happy to help!


We’re happy to help!

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