17 September 2019
South Australian small businesses, or those looking to start one, are being encouraged not to hold back in seeking finance, with research by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) revealing a 94% loan approval rate from member banks and a new online resource now available with all the tips and tools needed to apply.
The ABA Economic Report 2019 on small and medium enterprise lending in Australia shows that while millions of Australians dream of starting their own business, 60 per cent say that access to money is holding them back. The numbers are even higher for women and young people, 65 percent of women and 67 percent of people aged between 18 and 34 believe access to finance is stopping them from fulfilling their entrepreneurial dreams.
As part of a visit to South Australia today CEO of the ABA Anna Bligh and Business SA CEO Martin Haese hosted a roundtable of local businesses to discuss the research and provide a briefing on the new online resource available. The roundtable also discussed the new Banking Code of Practice, the new rule book for banks, and the extra protections for small businesses.
The ‘financing your small business’ website contains templates, checklists and easy to understand information about everything from creating a business plan, through to using a trusted advisor and the types of finance available.
Ms Bligh said that today’s visit to South Australia was important to highlight that banks were ready and open to lend to businesses, with the overwhelming majority approved according to research by the ABA.
“With historically low interest rates, high approval rates and increased protections under the new Banking Code of Practice there’s never been a better time to contact your bank about finance for your small business,” Ms Bligh said.
“Our own data tells us that while approvals remain high for small business finance at 94%, the number of applications has dropped off by a third over the last five years.
“There are many possible reasons for a drop off, including some businesses perceiving the process as too complex, too time consuming and unlikely to result in approval.
“The best piece of advice that I could give to any South Australian thinking of taking the next step and starting their own business or growing their current one is to explore our new website www.financingyoursmallbusiness.com.au and contact your bank,” she said.
CEO of Business South Australia Martin Haese said businesses, and particularly those in regional areas, often raised concern about access to finance and how complex the process was.
“Every business seeking help when considering applying for finance would benefit from the additional information, checklists or advice on overcoming the hurdles they find when applying for loans,” Mr Haese said.
“It can be very difficult for any SME to access finance when they’re juggling day-to-day operations and managing staff. Ensuring the process is easier, at a time when interest rates are low, could help more businesses take that leap to grow their products or services, boosting our economy at the same time,” he said.
Contact: Rory Grant 0475 741 007
Access to credit opens up opportunities and fulfills aspirations. Getting it right requires the right balance between consumer protections and the flow of credit.
Interviewed by AM’s Peter Ryan, ABA CEO Anna Bligh talked about the substantial drop in loan deferrals since their peak during the pandemic, falling from 900,000 to 300,000.