Updated business funding guide to offer small business COVID-19 support

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Business Funding Guide has been updated to provide feedback and support for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

The guide, developed in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance, is primarily written for accountants, bookkeepers and other accredited financial advisers as a guide in their role of advising their small-business clients in finding appropriate funding and increasing their chances of getting approved for financing.

“Trading conditions have changed dramatically since we released the first Business Funding Guide last year,” Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said. “The guide was originally intended to help small businesses secure funding for growth, however, given the heavy toll the COVID crisis has taken on small businesses, the focus is now firmly on their survival.

“While many small businesses are still eligible for government support, these measures are temporary and plans will need to be made to fund their recovery, reinvention and growth,” Carnell added. “This independent guide provides comprehensive up-to-date information about a range of funding options available to small businesses, along with a step-by-step pathway to becoming ‘finance fit’ to give small businesses their best chance at success with the application process.”

The ASBFEO pointed out that many small businesses face an uphill battle to secure funding at the best of times, and that a lot of SMEs don’t bother to apply due to the onerous application process and unrealistic serviceability requirements.

“Even for loans that have been 50 per cent guaranteed by the federal government, small businesses have been asked for all sorts of documentation including director guarantees, which really means the family home,” Carnell said. “That’s why it is crucial small businesses understand the growing range of financial providers and products on the market – the big four banks are not the only game in town!

“Small-business owners that need funding to stay afloat and recover from this challenging period need to consider all of the funding options, including those that are not tied to the family home, to make the best choice for their business,” Carnell said. “It is vital small business borrowers ensure their lender is an AFCA member and talk to their trusted accredited financial adviser – who has our Business Funding Guide – before taking out a loan.”

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