Applying for Funding

The Local Buying Foundation provides funding to support projects and programs which facilitate workforce development, innovation and building the capability and capacity of businesses and industry to grow the potential of regional economies.



Before you get started

Prior to submitting a LBF Application, please review the key information below, and ensure your submission fits the guidelines.

We encourage you to contact a Local Buying Foundation Project Officer to discuss your project on 1800 536 663 or

Key Dates

h There are specific Funding Rounds per state.

Applications can be submitted at any timing leading up to a funding round closing date, though will not be reviewed until after the closing date.

Applications must be submitted online via the LBF application link by 5:00pm local time on the advertised date.

Funding Rounds for 2024 are:

New South Wales Queensland South Australia Western Australia
Round One 5 April 2024 9 February 2024 10 May 2024 1 March 2024
Round Two 20 September 2024 19 July 2024 18 October 2024 30 August 2024
LBF Funding Guidelines

Prior to submitting an application, it is important to review the funding guidelines to understand what is required for an application.

View the full funding guidelines here

Funding categories

The Foundation’s objectives and priority areas are reviewed regularly to ensure they remain relevant to the economic environment and aligned with changing business community needs.

The current priority areas (or categories) of the Foundation are:

Business and Industry Innovation

This category focuses on funding proposals which seek to deliver ‘innovation infrastructure and services’, including facilities, resources and services used by researchers, educators, business and industry to conduct research and foster innovation. This includes facilities such as shared workspaces, ‘maker spaces’ and business incubators, accelerators and programs where research, knowledge and data can be connected with entrepreneurial ideas to grow high-value and innovative businesses.

Workforce Development

This category is focused on funding applications for proposals which are aimed at helping regional economies to equip themselves with the skills, knowledge and capabilities required to adapt to new economic opportunities as they arise and to thrive in a constantly changing environment. It is focussed on workforce planning and development programs and education and training initiatives which will build workforce capacity by addressing the skills needed to equip the workforce of the future.

Indigenous Economic Development

This category is focused on funding proposals which seek to promote economic development by facilitating the involvement of Indigenous people in employment, business, asset and wealth creation in the communities and regions where they live. This includes initiatives which seek to provide opportunities for Indigenous people to access business and workforce development.

Micro-business and SME Capacity-building

This category is focused on initiatives that will serve to facilitate the development of basic business knowledge and business capabilities and enhance the innovative and productive capacity of local industry. It is focussed on the delivery of programs which provide information on and access to business support services; basic business training and business planning; or information on programs that facilitate access to finance to help establish and grow commercially-viable small and medium-sized businesses.

Industry Promotion and Economic Development

This category is focussed on funding proposals which seek to build on the local region’s comparative and competitive advantages, to help emerging and expanding industries to develop and grow. It includes, for example, the preparation of local / regional economic development strategies, industry-specific planning studies and strategies, regional industry marketing plans and industry investment prospectus materials or investment attraction strategies.

Sponsorship of Business Awards, Conferences and Business Events

This category is focused on continuing the Local Buying Foundation’s support for local business events, awards and conferences which occur on an annual basis and which do not need to complete the full application /approval process. See Sponsorship Guidelines for more information.

Guidelines for sponsorship of business awards, conferences and events

Approximately a quarter of all approved applications to the Local Buying Foundation belong to the funding category – Sponsorship of Business Awards, Conferences and Events.

This guideline document is to provide context on previously sponsored events and what level of sponsorship the LBF usually applies to these events. Please note that each sponsorship application is still reviewed case by case and we understand that not all sponsorship requests will align with these guidelines.

For sponsorship applications, ensure your project has a sponsorship prospectus. Sponsorship applications still need to meet the funding eligibility criteria.

View the Sponsorship Guidelines here 

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Local Buying Foundation funding for?

The primary objective of the Local Buying Foundation is to support and deliver economic and local /regional business programs which build capacity within the regions where BHP assets are located. These regions encompass the broader identified Central Highlands, Isaac and Mackay regions in Queensland, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Upper Hunter shires in New South Wales, WAIO’s regions of Town of Port Hedland and Shire of East Pilbara in Western Australia and the Olympic Dam regions to include District of Mount Remarkable, Port Augusta City Council, Port Pirie Regional Council, Roxby Downs Council, Whyalla City Council, and Outback Communities Authority in South Australia. For transactions processed through the Local Buying Program, BHP, BMA and BMC Operations incur a nominal processing fee (a percentage of the transaction value). The processing fee covers administration costs associated with delivering the Program (facilitated by C-Res, a cost neutral entity) with the remainder allocated to the Foundation.

Who can’t the Local Buying Foundation fund?

Funding cannot be for a commercial business grant or be considered to be similar to a commercial business grant.
Funding cannot be for Government Organisations and Schools.
Funding cannot be for a project that has already occurred, and funds cannot being sought retrospectively.

What would benefit my funding application? 

The submission will be looked upon favourably if the applicant can demonstrate confirmed funding from other funding sources. Providing evidence in relation to project management costs and how it differs from day-to-day tasks (BAU) for the organisation applying.

How does it work?

Information about funding from LBF is hosted on the Local Buying Foundation website. You need to review the information on the site, and check the Funding Guidelines carefully (link located in the National Funding Application), to ensure that your organisation is eligible. If you are, then to apply, go to LBF Funding page on the website to start the application process. Note, the link is different for BIG Futures Emergency Funding is different. You can then start your application, adding in the information you know, such as information about your organisation. As you get more detail about your project, you can add that in.

How is the application assessed?

Applications are pre-assessed by C-Res against Foundation focus areas and criteria. Applications that meet key criteria will be presented to the LBF Advisory Committee for consideration.

The mandatory assessment criteria is;

  • Project objectives align with the Foundations’ focus areas
  • The organisation has a formal governance structure and /or registered with the appropriate government bodies
  • The organisation has the capacity, financial stability, and leadership to support the project
  • The organisation is of reputable standing, and the project is supported by key community stakeholders

How is B.I.G Futures funding different from LBF funding? 

Originally created in response to the rapid needs of business groups during COVID-19, the B.I.G Futures Fund was created as an opportunity for business, economic and industry groups to easily access funding with a quicker turnaround time during times of significant change to communities due to economic up and downswings, industry change and other impacts. The B.I.G Futures Fund provides opportunities for funding of projects and programs that allow organisations to continue delivering services to their membership/business base during the key times of economic change.

Where is the data stored? 

The information is hosted on our external system provider’s secure date centre. However, it complies with our privacy policy, details of which are available on our website.

Is the system secure? 

Yes. The information is hosted on our external system provider’s secure date centre. Only LBF and support staff from our provider have permission to access our data. Once again, it is managed in line with our privacy policy.

Can I go back and edit/ add further information over a period of time? 

Yes, you can go back and edit your responses, or upload additional documents while the funding application is open, up until you hit the ‘submit’ button. You can save and exit at any point. Each time you do, a copy of your application at that point will be emailed to the email address that you logged in with. A link is provided in the email to return to your current application.

Can I exit the application form even when I haven’t finished and go back to it at a later stage?

Yes, you can save and exit at any point. A copy of your application to date will be emailed to the address that you logged in with. A link is provided in the email to return to your current application. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU USE THAT LINK TO GO BACK IN AND CONTINUE ANY APPLICATION YOU HAVE STARTED. If you click on the link on the grant page you will open a new application and not be able to see the work done to date. You can use the login button at the top of the home page, or on the grant program page to return to your application, if you can’t find the email.

Who do I contact if I am having a system / technical difficulties in completing the online form or submitting required information? 

If you are having technical difficulties, please contact Local Buying Foundation on 1800 536 663 during business hours, or email 

Who do I contact if I need some help completing the online form? 

Please review our LBF Funding Guidelines if you need some help completing your application. If you still have questions, then contact of office and one of the team will be able to help you. Call 1800 536 663 or email

How will I know if my application has been submitted successfully?

You will receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application. This will be sent to the email account that was provided as the LBF Funding Applicant. If you do not receive an email within 24 hours of submitting your application, then please contact us on 1800 536 663 or via email:

When will we find out if the application was successful?

While we move as fast as we can, given the volume of applications receive, the process of evaluation, assessment, recommendation, and approval can take up to 6 weeks from the time a funding round closes to date of notification., and we appreciate your patience as we process your application. All applicants are notified in writing regarding the outcome of their application.

What is a Final Evaluation Report? 

If you have received a grant funding you will be required to complete on online final report form explaining how the funds have been used, you are also required to provide a financial acquittal of the funds to demonstrate that the funds were used on agreed terms. This report enables us to see how you used the funds and report back to our LBF Advisory Committee on the success of the project.

How do I submit the Final Evaluation Report? 

The link to the Approved Funding Evaluation Report is located under funding in Reports and Forms on the website. In the form, choose which report is required (Progress or Final Evaluation), complete the required sections and submit.

What do I do if my project changes throughout the funding period?

Grant recipients and partners may request a change in project scope or budget by notifying C-Res in writing. Based on the requested/required change, a new application may be required.

All change requests are pre-assessed by C-Res and forwarded to either the LBF Chair or the LBF Advisory Committee for consideration depending on the lever of change requested. Organisations will be notified of the outcome within two weeks of a decision. Funds can only be spent on activities defined and approved in the original application (approved by the Committee) unless an approval (written) has been granted by C-Res (via the Chair).



Application Templates

To prepare for your application, we recommend you use the Local Buying Foundation templates.


The Local Buying Foundation aims to support Business, Economic and Industry Groups (B.I.G.) facing significant challenges during the key times of economic change.

Originally created in response to the rapid needs of business groups during COVID-19, the B.I.G. Futures Fund Financial assistance is available for those sectors to continue delivering services to their membership base and reduce the impact of business as usual activities due to the current disruption caused by the significant event.

The B.I.G. Futures Fund ensures Local Buying Foundation funding remains accessible for funding requests outside of the set funding rounds for projects where the need for funding is caused from an emergency or an opportunity has come about that would not want to be overlooked. 

View the B.I.G. Futures Fund Funding Guidelines here

Apply for B.I.G. Futures Fund Funding here



Maddy Williams

Maddy Williams

LBF Manager

Cody Girdwood

Cody Girdwood

Project Officer

Lisa Camilleri

Lisa Camilleri

Project Officer

Natasha Mallise

Natasha Mallise

Grants Administrator

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Acknowledgement of Country

The Local Buying Foundation acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.
We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.