SME Recovery Loan Scheme expanded to help beat lockdown slump

Small business owner.

In a bid to help small businesses struggling to keep afloat amid ongoing lockdowns and border closures, the federal government has announced it will be expanding the eligibility criteria of the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.

Under the scheme, small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can access low-rate loans of up to $5 million through participating lenders, on the condition that their annual turnover does not exceed $250 million.

Initially only available to flood-affected businesses and those which received the JobKeeper wage subsidy in the March quarter of 2021, the scheme has been amended to remove these requirements.

NAB executive, Andrew Irvine said making the scheme more widely available will go a long way towards restoring business confidence.

“The SME Recovery Loans are a good option for businesses who need additional capital at this time and expanding the eligibility criteria is a positive step.”

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Westpac chief Peter King also welcomed the expansion, urging struggling business owners to contact their bank or lender to determine their eligibility for the scheme or discuss other solutions.

“We know many small businesses are doing it tough and this important initiative provides further assistance directly to small businesses,” he said.

“We encourage any business customers worried about their finances to give us a call so we can work through what help may be available for them.”

Along with access to low-rate finance, the big banks have rolled out a number of measures to assist Australian businesses. These include deferrals on loan repayments, debt restructuring options, and waived costs for early withdrawals on term deposits.

Many banks also provide case management support for small business customers experiencing financial difficulty.

The full list of lenders participating in the SME Recovery Loan Scheme can be found on the Treasury website. For financing options, browse our business loans comparison page, where you’ll be able to weigh up offers from bank and non-bank lenders.

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