The National Retail Association (NRA) has urged small and medium businesses to take advantage of the Federal Government’s $62 million grant program to help lower the cost of energy bills.
The Government announced that from today, a $16 million investment to fund energy-saving measures such as high-efficiency air-conditioners or replacing gas heating boilers with heat pumps, will be available to SMEs.
NRA Chief Executive Officer Greg Griffith welcomed the first round of the initiative and urged the retail community to take advantage of the funding.`
“Energy is one of the biggest overheads for many businesses, particularly retailers who deal with food and drinks that require large refrigeration cabinets,” Mr Griffith said.
“All retailers know the costs of running that equipment have increased significantly in recent years, and these are costs that need to be passed on to consumers. It’s pleasing to see the Federal Government hasn’t waited on making these grants available.
“SMEs are experiencing increased cost burden, particularly at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly cautious and price sensitive. This is a good opportunity for these businesses to provide themselves with some security and we encourage them to apply as soon as possible.
“We know that retailers are already looking closely at their energy use and looking for ways to lower their costs and carbon footprint.”
The NRA is committed to helping the retail sector achieve in Environmental Social Governance (ESG) and has recently appointed Dr Geoffrey Annison as its ESG Policy Consultant.
Dr Annison has held a number of senior roles in the food and grocery sector, most recently with the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
Mr Griffith said Dr Annison would be an invaluable voice for the industry to help government understand the commercial realities of working towards environmental best practices and would be available to help NRA members on this journey.
“SMEs make up a large portion of our economy and giving them a head start on emissions reduction is important to ensure that the retail community is at the forefront of ESG. The NRA is here to help, and we have people with the expertise to put businesses on the right track.”
For more information about the Energy Efficiency Grants for SMEs program and how to apply, visit https://business.gov.au/eegsme.
The National Retail Association is the voice of modern retail, representing more than 60,000 stores across Australia. It has been serving businesses in the retail and fast-food sectors for close to 100 years.
For more information contact the NRA media unit at [email protected]