Westpac has today announced it will accept applications for new and existing eligible customers for equipment finance goods loans, as part of phase two of the Federal Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Loan Scheme.
This comes as new research from the Westpac SME COVID-19 Response Report revealed 80 per cent of SMEs have either cut their spending, held off making large purchases or held off borrowing as a result of economic uncertainty.
Westpac is offering eligible small and medium sized businesses with up to $50m in annual turnover a new equipment loan with interest rates starting at 2.99 per cent* fixed for five years on loans up to $1 million**, which could be used in conjunction with the Federal Government’s enhanced instant asset write off and immediate full expensing measure.
Chief Executive Business Division Guil Lima said the loan is designed to help Australian businesses upgrade technology and essential equipment, as well as purchase other business assets.
“We know many businesses put off upgrading equipment and technology due to cost. Our research revealed 58 per cent of small and medium sized businesses are holding off making large purchases as a result of COVID-19 uncertainty.
“This new loan, together with the Federal Government’s instant asset write off scheme and immediate full expensing measure, will help eligible businesses make the essential improvements they need to grow and move with the times.
“Helping small and medium sized businesses reinvest in their companies through purchasing new equipment will boost workplace productivity and help make these businesses more competitive and sustainable.”
“From a macro-economic perspective, these initiatives will help encourage business spending in the economy, supporting the economic recovery underway across most of Australia. Importantly, spurring business investment helps create jobs, an important national priority”.
Westpac will also waive the Equipment Finance establishment fee (usually from $450) on Equipment Finance Goods Loan applications submitted under Westpac’s SMEG offer and settled between 1 November 2020 and close of business 31 December 2020.
Westpac’s support for businesses includes:
- Developing a COVID-19 response package for business customers and expanding this to support the Government’s COVID-19 initiatives over the course of the year.
- Establishing a team of dedicated bankers, who help customers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19, and navigating customers back to a position of stability and growth.
- Investing $100 million as a founding member of the Government and Industry’s Australian Business Growth Fund.
- Finding new ways to simplify and help customers save money, by refunding over $14m in merchant fees as part of our COVID-19 relief measures and by proactively helping around 37,000 businesses save on “tap and go” merchant transactions.
- Offering business customers a range of free financial education webinars and resources through the Davidson Institute, including tips on managing cashflow and budgeting for JobKeeper changes.
- Develop new banker training through The Business Institute, including new modules focused on “Looking Forward” conversations in a COVID environment, lending for small business and lending for larger businesses, and health and wellbeing.
- Supporting agribusiness customers with over $60 million in discounted loans as part of our Drought Assistance Package.