22 March 2020
Today’s announcement by the Federal Government of a second stimulus package, which includes an SME Guarantee Scheme and direct cash grants, will help keep businesses open and save jobs, building on the measures already announced by banks on Friday.
The SME Guarantee Scheme which allows for further funds to be injected into small business will complement the announcement of a six month deferment of all loan repayments attached to a small business financially affected by COVID-19.
In addition to this the grants outlined by the Government to small businesses will also be key in helping small businesses retain staff.
CEO of the Australian Banking Association Anna Bligh said that the SME Guarantee Scheme, when combined with measures announced by banks last week, would provide a strong support to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a time for close co-operation between Government and our banking sector and the industry will continue to play their part to build the economic bridge to recovery”ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“It’s important that small businesses across the country are given a lifeline to get them through the difficulty wrought on the economy by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Banks stand ready to help their business customers get through this, whether it’s deferring their loan payments or providing more working capital.
“Today’s announcement of a second stimulus package, which includes an SME Guarantee scheme, will mean access to funds to see small businesses through this downturn.
“Building on the measures announced by banks last Friday of a six month loan deferment on existing loans, this whole package means businesses are given a strong foundation of support to help keep them open and keep people in jobs through the difficult times ahead,” she said.
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“This is about engaging with the entire banking ecosystem in order to ensure the accessibility of the sector’s services are best serving our diverse community now, and into the future.”
“What is underpinning this bank failure is a number of things, but not least of all, it’s a very niche bank with high exposure to one part of the economy. And that’s the part of the economy that’s been quite volatile and troubled”
The Treasurer has indicated that the federal government is closely monitoring the situation.