Amazon Australia has put up five grants worth $80,000 each to help the nation's journey to post-Covid-19 life.
Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants will give out the money and support to local businesses that pivoted their operations during the coronavirus downturn, and needs a bit of a push.
"We hope that the new Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants will catapult a new wave of small businesses who have evolved during this time to continue creating and transforming products," said Chadd Ciccarelli, Amazon Australia head of Launchpad.
Amazon research showed about a quarter of Australian small businesses launched online or explored new revenue sources during the Covid lockdown period.
"More than a quarter of small-to-medium businesses (29 per cent) said that the lack of available funding is the biggest barrier to innovating or growing the business for the remainder of 2020 and more than half (55 per cent) lacked guidance or mentorship during this time."
Each package includes $20,000 cash, Amazon marketing support, access to business experts in Australia and US, learning time with successful Australian e-commerce businesses and advice from angel investors.
Two actual business owners have been recruited to judge the five winners – Lyre's Non-Alcoholic Spirits co-founder Carl Hartmann and Bake Mixes founder Renae Smith.
"I know the grant packages will go a long way in funding continued innovation as we’re on the road to recovery," said Hartmann.
"Having launched and built several startups, I know how exciting yet tough the journey is, especially this year with the economic impacts of the last few months."
Applications for the grants are open now and will close on the night of August 24.
The Amazon Launchpad Innovation report also showed 28 per cent of small businesses in Australia used the isolation period to "innovate for the future", whole 35 per cent refreshed their business plan.