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SME Guarantee loans can now be larger, longer term and for a wider range of purposes.
The initial phase of the Scheme was available for new loans issued by eligible lenders until 30 September 2020.
The second phase of the Scheme started on 1 October 2020 and will be available until 30 June 2021.
Key changes include:
• Loans can be for a wider range of investment, beyond working capital
• Secured lending now permitted (excludes commercial or residential property)
• Maximum loan size increased to $1 million (from $250,000 per borrower)
• Maximum loan term now five years (from three years)
• Lenders can now offer a repayment deferral period.
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Participating banks are also offering loans, including overdrafts, at very low interest rates, to help bridge cash flow gaps. The SME Loan Guarantee Scheme continues until 30 June 2021.
The Federal Government has also introduced a JobKeeper program. Under the scheme, businesses and not-for-profits significantly impacted will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over. For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income.