There's a gap in small business banking and Great Southern Bank is hoping to fill it

Photo of a happy waiter opening on the doors at a cafe and smiling.

Small businesses are the unsung heroes of the Aussie economy. They’re everywhere, from your favourite coffee shop that knows your order by heart, to the local tech start-up making life a bit easier with their latest app. 

According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, small businesses contribute around one-third of the total Gross Value Added (GVA), meaning they're responsible for adding about a third of the overall value to our economy through their goods and services. And if that wasn’t enough, they also contribute to a whopping 42% of private-sector employment.

But despite being everywhere and doing pretty much everything, small businesses are facing challenges when it comes to securing financial support, with obstacles like obtaining loans and the burden of increasing interest rates.

This is where Great Southern Bank steps in. Offering a range of banking services tailored to alleviate these financial pressures, Great Southern Bank, with its customer-owned structure, focuses directly on serving its community's needs, providing a supportive banking experience for small businesses.

“Running a small business means having to be across so many different functions it can be hard to keep up. This can be made much easier if you are working with a bank that can act as a useful partner, understanding your needs and drawing on a wide range of competitive products,” said Mozo banking expert Peter Marshall.

Financial challenges facing small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

While small businesses face a myriad of banking challenges, focusing on loans provides a clear window into these difficulties. For SMEs, there are currently two major hurdles to getting a business loan: securing the necessary funding and high interest rates:

  • Securing the funding. According to the RBA, getting finance is challenging for small businesses because they often need to offer up personal property as security, face complicated application procedures and struggle with not having a long or varied enough business track record.
  • Interest rates. The average variable rate on new loans to SMEs has risen by around 360 basis points since May 2022, putting additional strain on small businesses.
4 line graphs, organised into quadrants, showing fixed and variable lending rates for small and medium businesses over time.
Sources: APRA; RBA

Finally some options for small businesses

The financial landscape isn't all bleak for small businesses. In its report titled "The Current Climate for Small Business Finance", the RBA explains that a host of non-traditional finance options are emerging as a viable alternative to small businesses seeking financing. ‘Non-traditional finance’ encompasses a range of funding sources outside conventional banks, such as online lenders, crowdfunding platforms and fintech innovations.

Among these alternatives, Great Southern Bank offers a distinct approach. As a customer-owned bank with a B-Corp certification, it places ethical business practices and customer needs at the forefront of its operations, while offering a suite of financial products designed with small businesses in mind:

Being customer-owned lets Great Southern Bank focus more on what its customers and community need, rather than just what shareholders want. This means small businesses can get the tools and support they really need.

Great Southern Bank is stepping up, offering a fresh take on business banking to bridge the gap many small businesses feel with traditional banks. They've got a range from straightforward bank accounts and savings plans with great rates to customised business loans. Plus, their banking app makes managing finances straightforward and accessible, tailored for the busy entrepreneur.

See below for a rundown on some of its small business products available:

Great Southern Bank - Secured business loan (residential security)
  • $0 ongoing fees
  • Competitive 7.25% p.a. variable rate
Find out more

Great Southern Bank's Residential Security Business Loan offers loans from $10,000 to $500,000 without any ongoing fees, making it a smart pick for businesses of various sizes. You can opt for 

fixed or variable rates, depending on what works best for you. With the ability to secure the loan against residential property, businesses can enjoy lower repayments thanks to terms up to 30 years. Plus, you’re free to make extra repayments on variable rate loans and benefit from a free redraw facility. Keep an eye on the $235 security administration fee, an important cost to factor into your budget.

Great Southern Bank - Everyday business account
  • $0 account fee
  • Free unlimited transactions from counter deposit, phone and internet
Find out more

Great Southern Bank's Everyday Business Account combines practical features with no ongoing fees, making it easy on your budget. You get unlimited free transactions, whether you're banking over the phone, via the internet, or making counter deposits. The online app is straightforward, perfect for quick banking tasks. Need cash? There are thousands of ATMs across Australia you can use for free. For those juggling the books, linking your account with software like MYOB is a breeze. And if you ever need a bit more financial wiggle room, adding a business overdraft is an option. Just watch out for the $2.00 fee for counter withdrawals.

Great Southern Bank - Business+ savings account
  • Competitive 2.10% p.a. interest rate on balances over $5k
  • $0 monthly fees

Great Southern Bank's Business+ savings account not only offers a competitive interest rate designed to help your savings grow, but it also eliminates monthly fees, ensuring your savings are maximised. It offers the flexibility of instant access to your funds through a linked Business+ Account, making it straightforward to manage liquidity. You can have your account set up quickly and hassle-free, right through the Business app. However, it’s important to note that the 2.10% p.a. interest rate only applies to balances above $5,000; below this threshold, the interest rate drops to 0%.

Explore additional resources for small businesses by visiting our small business banking hub, where you'll find more comparisons and guides.

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