Don’t tough it out on your own
25 August 2021
The Australian Banking Association welcomes the Federal Government’s expansion of support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
The changes to the SME Recovery Loan Scheme (SMERLS) will allow businesses with a turnover of less than $250 million to access loans of up to $5 million over a term of up to 10 years.
The Government will remove the eligibility requirements for SMEs to have received JobKeeper during the March quarter of 2021 or to have been affected by flooding.
Anna Bligh, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Banking Association said the expansion of support was important for businesses right across the country and allows banks to extend their assistance.
“This is an important loan scheme that’s helping Australian businesses fight their way through the pandemic,” Ms Bligh said.
“Broadening the eligibility criteria means banks can help more small and medium businesses, and that couldn’t be more important right now.”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“These changes will make a real difference. Broadening the eligibility criteria means banks can help more small and medium businesses, and that couldn’t be more important right now.
“Australia’s economy bounced back strongly after the 2020 lockdowns and supporting SMEs now when they need it most will help the economy to rebound once again when lockdowns lift.”
There is a range of bank support available for businesses including;
- refunds of merchant terminal fees,
- the waiving of fees on cash deposits and farm management deposit accounts,
- Up to 3 month repayment deferrals, for business loans
- Payment deferrals for SME operators on their home loans to assist with cash flow
“The message from banks is clear. If you’re in need of assistance, talk to your bank. Don’t tough it out on your own,” Ms Bligh said.
“A number of our banks actually have maternity leave lending products that are specific to people on parental leave, paid and unpaid, to help them through, what as I said, can be a difficult time.”
The number of micro businesses grew 10% to 1.55 million in the year to June 2022. During the same period, the number of small businesses grew 3% to 955,861 after an extraordinary period of growth during the 2021 financial year, jumping 15% to 931,791.