Canon Oceania Grants Program supports small businesses again

CANON Oceania has opened submissions for the second year to Australian small businesses for its 2021 Grants Program. 

Canon Oceania managing director Akira ‘Dave’ Yoshida said, in the spirit of Canon’s guiding philosophy of Kyosei – which means living and working together for the common good – over the last 15 years, Canon Oceania has supported more than 75 schools, not-for-profits and community groups with more than $420,000.

“Australian communities and organisations have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. As the JobKeeper program has drawn to a close, it’s important for us to get behind small businesses and support their shift from survival to recovery mode,” Mr Yoshida said. 

“Last year we extended our Grants Program to include small businesses for the first time and we were thrilled to see the positive impact this delivered. 

“Looking ahead, it’s imperative that small businesses not only adjust to the ‘new normal’ but are set up for success in the future. We’re committed to helping our local business community navigate a COVID-19 world.” 

That is why Canon is once again including a small business category in its Grants Program, he said.

Winners will also be selected from two additional categories: Community, which is open to organisations ranging from not-for-profits, to grassroots groups and environmental causes; and Education, which is open to schools and other educational centres for children and adults alike.

Winners will be selected based on the strength of their initiative and the impact it will have on their community or business. 

Each grant recipient will receive $5000 in cash and Canon products, ranging from cameras and printers, to projectors and other accessories. This year the value of the Grants will be equally divided between cash and equipment – $2500 each – reflecting organisations’ greater need for cash to help rebuild themselves in a weaker economy. The split prior to 2020 was $1000 in cash and $4000 in products. 

Mr Yoshida said, “At Canon, we believe the Kyosei philosophy is something we live and breathe every day, so we’re pleased to continue supporting small businesses as they take the important next steps towards recovery.” 

The winner of the 2020 Small Business Grant was Dogs for Kids with Disabilities, an organisation that raises and trains assistance and therapy dogs for children whose everyday activities are restricted by emotional, physical and intellectual challenges. They used their prizes from the grant to create videos that drive awareness of their work among the wider community. This awareness has been imperative in helping Dogs for Kids secure sponsors so that they have the means to continue their important work for children with disabilities.

“The Canon equipment has been wonderful in enabling us to create educational videos to promote the work of our amazing volunteers, staff, families and of course, our incredible dogs,” Dogs for Kids with Disabilities chair, Tracey Harris said.

“Educating the community and attracting new sponsors has been critical during the lockdown period,” she said. “At the same time, it’s been very rewarding to connect with our community through the love of assistance dogs.

“For any small business in need of support – big or small – I encourage you to apply for Canon Oceania Grants.” 

Telethon Speech and Hearing, an independent school offering therapy services for children with hearing loss and speech delays, was another worthy 2020 winner. Telethon’s grant was used to develop a ‘mobile pack’ to facilitate tele-therapy sessions. 

“During lockdown, the prize money and cameras from the Canon Grant allowed us to facilitate online delivery of high-quality learning to families in remote Western Australia,” Telethon Speech and Hearing CEO Mark Fitzpatrick said.  

“A highlight has been providing children in our Chatterbox Program (aged up to five years) and their families with access to specialised teachers, regardless of their location. Thanks to Canon, we’ve been able to conduct virtual intervention, ensuring that distance isn’t a barrier to quality support for children in the early years of development.” 

The winner of the 2020 Community Grant, Action for Dolphins, is working to stop cruelty and gain legal protection for dolphins. The organisation is using equipment supplied by the grant for everything from recording evidence of animals trapped in underwater nets to recording interviews with experts. 

“We were lucky enough to receive the Canon Grant which enabled us to create a video warning against illegal handfeeding of dolphins on North Stradbroke Island,” Action for Dolphins CEO Hannah Tait said.  

“The video was displayed on the ferry to the island, educating visitors as well as our local community about how to end activities that harm marine life.”

The 2021 grants will be awarded under the following categories: 

1 x Small Business Grant – $5000 
Open to any for-profit entity that employs fewer than 20 people and have less than A$10 million aggregated turnover (according to ABS and ATO guidelines). 

1 x Community Grant – $5000 
Open to a range of organisations keeping their community at the heart of what they do, ranging from not-for-profits, to grassroots groups and environmental causes. 

1 x Education Grant – $5000 
Open to schools and other educational centres for children and adults alike. 

1 x Runner-up Grant – $1000 
A runner up will be selected from any of the categories above. 

Submissions are now open until Friday July 30. The wider community will vote on finalists in August, and winners will be announced in September.



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