SME Guarantee Scheme
A new Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme allows businesses to access additional loans from participating lenders through the coming months.
Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. This will enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit.
SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans. The Scheme commences in April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.
The RBA has also announced a term funding facility offering additional low-cost funding to banks if they expand business lending with particular incentives for new loans to SMEs.
The Government is providing an exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers.
This exemption is for six months, and applies to any credit for business purposes, including new credit, credit limit increases and credit variations and restructures.
Responsible lending obligations do not currently apply to lending which is predominantly for a business purpose, but it can take time and effort for lenders to be satisfied that the money borrowed meets this test.
By providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations, you should get access to credit quickly and efficiently.