The South West Development Commission has announced a new batch of funding is now available for local businesses in the region. The State Government’s Regional Economic Development grant is up to $150,000 to help fund projects. The criteria a business application will be judged on includes the ability to increase or sustain jobs, expand or diversify industry, develop skills or capability, increase business productivity and attract new investment to the region. The industries which will be given priority in the application process are mining, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, energy and Aboriginal small business. South West Development Commission chief executive Mellisa Teede said businesses should apply for the grants after what had been a “challenging time”. “We are looking for projects that support jobs and economic activity in the South West region,” she said. “This has been a challenging time for industry and business, but funding programs like REDs builds confidence and growth.” The previous three rounds of RED grants have been awarded to projects including Ocean Grown Abalone’s processing facility in Augusta, the Colony Concept agritourism business in Metricup, a canning line at Shelter Brewing Co and incubator kitchen and business stalls at Origins Market in Busselton. Applications close on October 21.