The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has unveiled the new Financial Assistance Hub which will provide financial assistance to small businesses that are still struggling in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has hailed the move and encouraged small businesses in need to take advantage of the opportunity.
“This initiative by the ABA shows the banks are taking proactive steps to assist small businesses experiencing financial hardship,” Carnell said. “While it’s good news that 91 per cent of deferred loans have resumed repayments, there are still a number of small businesses hurting out there.”
The Ombudsman noted that more than 11,000 business loans remain deferred and about 493,000 businesses were still receiving JobKeeper as of December 2020.
“With government support measures including JobKeeper set to end next month, the number of small businesses in financial hardship is expected to rise,” Carnell said.
“The financial assistance hub can help struggling small-business owners who are unable to meet reduced payments or restructure their loans, find a tailored solution.
“I congratulate the ABA for taking a compassionate approach as small businesses try to get back on their feet. Small businesses under financial strain should make use of this supportive online tool,” Carnell concluded.