Westpac commits to support businesses through SME Recovery Loan Scheme

Small business.

Westpac has confirmed it will be offering low-rate finance to Australian businesses under the Federal Government’s expanded SME Recovery Loan Scheme, which is due to commence 1 October 2021.

The scheme lets small and medium enterprises that have been impacted by COVID-19 access business loans of up to $5 million, with the government guaranteeing 80 per cent. 

While the scheme was initially only available to flood-affected businesses and those which received the JobKeeper wage subsidy in the March quarter of 2021, the government announced in August that it will be dropping these requirements.

Under the revised version, Australian businesses can apply so long as they have been operating for more than 12 months and have an annual turnover of less than $250 million.

Westpac chief of consumer and business banking, Chris de Bruin said the move will help hard-hit businesses regain their footing as the nation turns a corner on the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are encouraged by the latest vaccination figures and are confident our economy will quickly move back to growth once lockdowns have ended,” he said.

“Australian businesses have had everything thrown at them in the last couple of years but have shown remarkable resilience. We are committed to continuing to support them through this difficult time and are optimistic about the future.”

RELATED: SME Recovery Loan Scheme expanded to help beat lockdown slump

From 1 October 2021, Westpac will offer variable rates of between 2.58% p.a. and 4.28% p.a. to eligible small businesses.

The loans will be available to both new and existing customers, and can be used to invest, purchase commercial property, or acquire another business. 

Business customers will also have the option to pause repayments for 6 or 12 months, but Westpac notes that interest on the loan will continue to accrue during the repayment deferral period.

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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