New COVID-19 grants and funding for stations

April 15, 2020

Microphone suspended in a radio studio with 'On Air' sign behind

As we all continue to navigate the daily challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown in our personal lives, we also know that community broadcasters around Australia have, in particular, been facing formidable challenges to stay on air in these extraordinary times.

In recent weeks, we have heard firsthand from many of you about how you’re navigating a wide range of logistical, social and financial difficulties to stay on air. We know it has been tough going and understand that you need support as soon as possible to get through this event.

As you will know from our CEO’s message last week, we’ve been consulting widely with stations, the CBAA as part of the COVID-19 Crisis Taskforce, and sector bodies to work out what support you need to help manage the impacts of this pandemic. Over the long weekend the CBF Board approved a series of measures that will help stations continue operating throughout COVID-19.

The first of these measures is to provide quick access to funds for stations that have no paid staff and are therefore not eligible for the broad Australian Government stimulus packages. As current year funds were allocated in 2019, we are drawing on CBF reserves to provide this support. The COVID-19 Quick Response Grant is not only designed to make it easy for these stations to apply, but will also speed up the process for distributing the funds.

We will also be reopening the 2020/21 Round 1 Grants for those that have already applied. This will provide those applicants with the opportunity, if they wish, to adjust their applications to better reflect their operational needs during the crisis. The applications will then be assessed in the usual way and funding released in the normal timeframes.

Finally, we are establishing a new COVID-19 Crisis Fund to provide stations with additional support while operating under pandemic restrictions. The fund will be open to all stations.

More information about each of these initiatives is available below. Over the next couple of weeks, the Support Team will also be in touch with more detailed information about how and where to apply.

I want to thank you for your incredible passion and skill in keeping your stations on air in such difficult circumstances. You are all doing such vital work each day keeping your communities connected and, importantly, informed, during this time.

Ian Hamm

CBF President

What COVID-19 Crisis support funding is available?

COVID-19 Quick response Grant

  • All stations without paid staff can apply for a grant of up to $2000 to assist with maintaining operations under COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
  • The grant can be for small equipment, software, supplies and costs associated with maintaining operations under COVID-19 social distancing requirements. This includes purchases already incurred since 1 January 2020 or future purchases.
  • Simple application and acquittal process
  • Payments will be made as soon as possible
  • Applications will open on Tuesday 21 April and close Monday 4 May

2020/21 Round 1 Grants re-opened to existing applicants only

  • Existing applicants can revise their applications considering the effect of the COVID-crisis on their activities, only if they wish to do so
  • Existing applicants may remove activities that are no longer relevant and focus their needs on their continued operation
  • Existing applicants will be able to flag if they want to be considered for COVID-19 Crisis Fund assistance when revising their application
  • Streamlined, easy process
  • Applications will open in late April and closes mid-May

COVID-19 Crisis Fund

  • A new Fund specifically established to help stations maintain or improve operations during the pandemic restrictions
  • All stations can apply to the COVID-19 Crisis Fund
  • Streamlined process with a simplified form
  • Applications will open in late April and closes mid-May

More detailed information about how to apply for these grants will be available on the CBF website soon.

Stay Informed