SME Loan Guarantee Scheme extended and expanded
9 April 2020
The ABA welcomes the official commencement of the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme.
Participating banks have been accepting applications from those eligible small businesses and not-for-profits in need of working capital to help see them through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australian Banking Association CEO Anna Bligh said the scheme allows banks and other lenders to offer small and medium sized businesses new unsecured loans which have a 50% guarantee from the government, meaning these loans are able to be offered more cheaply and more freely compared to ordinary business loans.
“Banks stand ready to throw a lifeline to businesses across the country who are doing it tough through this COVID-19 crisis to help them to stay afloat and keep Australians in work,” Ms Bligh said.
“These loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.
“Further, on these loans, no payments are required from the business for the first six months.
“These loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.”
ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“Access to cheaper loans will help many businesses with cash flow issues, particularly when it comes to paying staff prior to the activation of the Federal Government’s JobKeeper payments in May.
“Any small business with a turnover of up to $50 million, looking to bridge a gap in their cash flow, should contact a participating lender to discuss their eligibility and the features of this SME loan guarantee scheme,” she said.
The scheme will help small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations get fast access to working capital during the coronavirus pandemic and is available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.
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.