The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has announced that its member banks will offer loan repayment deferrals for small businesses affected by COVID-19 lockdowns throughout Australia.
In a statement, the ABA said loan repayments will be deferred for three months for small businesses that will make such a request, provided that the loan is in good standing with repayments up-to-date or there’s a payment program in place.
The ABA also announced that home loan support, including deferrals on a month-by-month basis, is also available for small-business customers.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson welcomed the initiative as a positive initiative that will help many struggling small businesses stay afloat.
“The banks’ commitment to support small businesses through this period is highly valued and is the kind of a key support element that could be incorporated into an agreed predictable and known national framework of support,” Billson said.
“Such a framework, involving both Government and private sector elements, step up as COVID-inspired economic constraints and introduced, up-levelled or extended that small and family businesses can count on when seeking to navigate these challenging and uncertain times,” Billson added. “I would encourage all small-businesses owners who are experiencing financial difficulties to call their banks now to make the necessary arrangements.
“It’s encouraging to see our banks taking this proactive approach and leading by example. This consistency from the banks will help small businesses navigate and adapt to periods of uncertainty such as this,” Billson concluded.