Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has approved more than $150 million in loans for small and medium businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The loans are all part of the Australian Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, which was announced on Sunday 22 March 2020 as a measure to help small and medium businesses get fast access to working capital during the coronavirus pandemic.
CBA customers were able to apply for the loans from Monday 23 March. As of Monday 6 April 2020, $150 million in loans had been approved for more than 1,850 businesses across Australia.
CBA’s Group Executive of Business and Private Banking, Mike Vacy-Lyle, said the Bank knew it had to respond extremely quickly to help Australian businesses in need.
“These loans will help a lot of businesses stay afloat, and keep a lot of people in jobs.
“We worked around the clock and pulled out all stops to make sure we were ready to start taking applications for these loans the day after the Government announced the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. The situation demanded an immediate response because so many businesses need immediate access to capital.”
Of the $150 million in loans approved, nearly 70 per cent are for businesses in NSW (43 per cent) and Victoria (26 per cent).
Close to one in six of the businesses approved for the loans are in hospitality (15 per cent), with construction (13 per cent), professional services (12 per cent) and retail (11 per cent) businesses also strongly represented.
Mr Vacy-Lyle said CBA was ready to lend much more.
“This is just the start. Many businesses that were operating very well prior to this pandemic are now faced with an unexpected and significant challenge.
“We stand ready to help them. These loans, and a range of other support measures we have available, will get many businesses through to the other side.”
Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, businesses and not-for-profits with annual turnovers up to $50 million are eligible to apply for three-year, unsecured loans of up to $250,000. There are no establishment fees, no account fees, no repayments for up to six months, and interest rates are from 4.5% – up to 500 basis points lower than standard rates.
For a full outline of the support available for CBA customers impacted by coronavirus, visit www.commbank.com.au/coronavirus