With the deadline for the next round of Dental Relocation and Infrastructure Support Scheme (DRISS) grants fast approaching, BOQ Specialist is encouraging interested applicants to get their commercial and personal finances in order, or they could risk missing out.
Announced as part of the 2012-13 Budget, DRISS will provide $77.7 million over four years to strengthen dental services in the bush through a grants programme to help dentists relocate to regional or remote areas. The programme is administered by Rural Health Workforce Australia (RHWA), who is responsible for advertising and seeking out prospective participants, calculating and providing grant payments, monitoring ongoing eligibility as well as the day to day operation of the scheme.
Relocation grants between $15,000 and $120,000 depending on the area to which a dentist moves, and grants of up to $250,000 to help with the purchase and fit out of dental facilities, are available through grant funding rounds twice each year, with the next round open from 7 September to 9 October 2015.
Stafford Hamilton at BOQ Specialist said those looking to relocate need to be confident about their financial position before making the move and DRISS, amongst other funding sources, could be an option for assistance.
“Applicants considering applying for some or all of the grants should be aware that a crucial component of the DRISS criteria is to have pre-approved loans in place, as well as a two year cash flow budget as part of the practice’s business and financial plan,” he said.
According to BOQ Specialist’s recent research paper, Specialists Serving Specialists, the emergence of technology and competitive pressures means the investment required to set up a practice has increased dramatically over the past decade. According to a recent IBIS World Industry Report on Dental Services in Australia**, the cost to establish a new practice can be upwards of about $400,000.
“The cost to set up a practice is one thing but there are also additional living costs to consider. Uprooting your business and family to a completely new location is clearly a big decision and requires a great deal of background research and planning.
“To ensure a smooth transition, we encourage practitioners to ensure they have sufficient funding in place to support both their work life and home life. We also encourage seeking the advice of specialists in many aspects of the clients’ businesses including accounting, tax, property search, practice set-up, marketing and banking,” he said.
BOQ Specialist has over 20 years’ experience developing and offering tailored financial services to dental professionals, bringing unique expertise to guide dentists through both their commercial and personal financing needs.
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