The National Retail Association 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 this week that grants of between $10,000 and $25,000 will be available to SMEs to fund energy-saving measures such as high-efficiency air-conditioners or installing tools to monitor energy use.
NRA Chief Executive Officer Greg Griffith welcomed 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 recognise that increased cost burden, particularly at a time when consumers are becoming increasingly cautious and price sensitive.
“We know that retailers are already looking closely at their energy use and looking for ways to lower their costs. This is a very good opportunity and we encourage all eligible businesses to apply.”
The NRA has this week confirmed its commitment to helping the retail sector achieve in Environmental Social Governance (ESG), by appointing 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 industry to help government understand the commercial realities of working towards environmental best practice, and would be available to help NRA members on this journey.
“This grant program from the Federal Government is a strong start, but there are a lot of other ways retail businesses can ensure they are 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.
Greg Griffith is available for interview. For more information, contact the NRA Media Unit: [email protected]