Flow of credit to small businesses remains strong

Small business owners in need of credit will be buoyed by new data that shows the approval rate for loans has remained strong throughout the coronavirus crisis.

In fact, about 70% of SME business loan applications received by lenders have been approved since early February, according to Australian Banking Association (ABA) statistics.

That’s resulted in more than 128,000 Australian sole traders, small businesses and medium-sized businesses receiving loans, with an average loan size of $320,000.

Breaking it down further, that’s 500 new SME loans a day for more than 250 days.

The ABA data is in line with the latest Sensis Business Index, which shows 26% of businesses that applied for finance over the past three months were knocked back.

Why the flow of credit remains strong despite COVID-19

The figures have no doubt been assisted by the relaxation of business lending rules, the federal government’s Instant Asset Write-off Scheme (now expanded to “temporary full expensing”), and the Coronavirus SME Loan Guarantee Scheme.

Temporary full expensing allows businesses, both big and small, to immediately write off any eligible depreciable asset, at any cost, up until 30 June 2022.

This can help improve your business’s cash flow by allowing you to reinvest the funds back into your business sooner.

The Coronavirus SME Loan Guarantee Scheme, meanwhile, allows businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million to apply for loans of up to $1 million with participating lenders.

The loans can generally be offered by lenders “more cheaply and more freely” compared to ordinary business loans, as the government will guarantee 50% of the new loans.

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