Banks ready to support South Australian small businesses

Australian small businesses, or those looking to start one, are being
encouraged not to hold back in seeking finance, with research by the Australian
Banking Association (ABA) revealing a 94% loan approval rate from member banks and
a new online resource now available with all the tips and tools needed to apply.

The ABA Economic Report 2019 on small and medium enterprise lending in Australia shows that while millions of Australians dream of starting their own business, 60 per cent say that access to money is holding them back. The numbers are even higher for women and young people, 65 percent of women and 67 percent of people aged between 18 and 34 believe access to finance is stopping them from fulfilling their entrepreneurial dreams.

As part of
a visit to South Australia today CEO of the ABA Anna Bligh and Business SA CEO Martin
Haese hosted a roundtable of local businesses to discuss the research and
provide a briefing on the new online resource available. The roundtable also
discussed the new Banking Code of Practice, the new rule book for banks, and the
extra protections for small businesses.

The ‘financing your small business’ website
contains templates, checklists and easy to understand information about
everything from creating a business plan, through to using a trusted advisor
and the types of finance available.

Ms Bligh
said that today’s visit to South Australia was important to highlight that banks
were ready and open to lend to businesses, with the overwhelming majority
approved according to research by the ABA.

“With historically low interest rates, high approval rates
and increased protections under the new Banking Code of Practice there’s never
been a better time to contact your bank about finance for your small business,”
Ms Bligh said.

“Our own
data tells us that while approvals remain high for small business finance at 94%,
the number of applications has dropped off by a third over the last five years.

“There are
many possible reasons for a drop off, including some businesses perceiving the
process as too complex, too time consuming and unlikely to result in approval.

“The best piece of advice that I could give to any South Australian thinking of taking the next step and starting their own business or growing their current one is to explore our new website and contact your bank,” she said.

CEO of Business South Australia Martin Haese said
businesses, and particularly those in regional areas, often raised concern
about access to finance and how complex the process was.

“Every business seeking help when considering applying for
finance would benefit from the additional information, checklists or advice on
overcoming the hurdles they find when applying for loans,” Mr Haese said.

“It can be very difficult for any SME to access finance
when they’re juggling day-to-day operations and managing staff. Ensuring the
process is easier, at a time when interest rates are low, could help more
businesses take that leap to grow their products or services, boosting our
economy at the same time,” he said.

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