Steph Cooke and a cherry farmer stand in front of a conveyor belt and are surrounded by cherry boxes.

More than $2.2 million of grant funding has already hit the pockets of 266 NSW businesses to help them develop global export sales, in turn supporting jobs and communities across the State.

The Export Assistance Grants program, which provides grants of up to $10,000, is now open for eligible businesses who are exporting or were exporting before being impacted by COVID-19, bushfires or drought.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the $10 million initiative was part of the Government’s Global NSW strategy.

“No one could have foreseen how hard NSW businesses would be hit by the impacts of drought, bushfires, floods and COVID-19, but the NSW Government is determined to back businesses every step of the way in the process of economic recovery,” Ms Cooke said.

“Exports made up 16 per cent of our economy before the pandemic and it’s vital that we support our fantastic exporting businesses, especially in regional areas where trade is so important.”

“Local businesses have borne the brunt of the economic impact of natural disasters and COVID-19 and we want to support business in every way possible to get back on their feet and grow their businesses bigger than ever.”

“Businesses can now claim the grant to reimburse expenses of up to $10,000 of eligible export-related expenses and I urge all exporting businesses in the Cootamundra electorate to consider applying.”

Braidwood-based gourmet garlic business Garlicious Grown was one of the first businesses to be successful in receiving the grant.

Owners Cathy Owen and Jenny Daniher said it was a huge help for their business as it goes about building sales offshore.

“The NSW Export Assistance Grants are a fabulous opportunity for small farm-based businesses to make it big in export markets by providing them with world-class Australian produce,” said Ms Owen.

To apply or learn more about the Export Assistance Grants and other assistance, visit global.nsw.gov.au/nsw-export-assistance-package.