Banks offer lifeline to Aussie small business

Australia’s banks are extending a lifeline to Aussie small business.

Anna Bligh, Australian Banking Association CEO, on Friday 20 March announced a small business relief package.

“This Assistance Package will apply to more than $100bn of existing small business loans and depending on customer take up, could put as much as $8 billion back into the pockets of small businesses as they battle through these difficult times,” Bligh said.

“Small businesses are the most vulnerable part of the economy and present the most pressing need for assistance.

“This is a multi billion dollar lifeline for small businesses when they need it most, to help keep the doors open and keep people in jobs,” Bligh said.

Banks offer lifeline

“Banks are putting in place a fast track approval process to ensure customers receive support as soon as possible.”

Bligh said financial institutions will continue to support the country through difficult times.

“While this is first and foremost a health crisis, this pandemic has begun to have serious impacts across the economy, with small businesses beginning to feel the devastating effects.”

Blight said banks have worked closely with the Treasurer and the Government to identify measures to support the economy through this crisis.

The package is designed to help small business sustain its workforce of 5 million Australians.

“Banks are already reaching out to their customers to offer assistance and packages will start rolling out in full on Monday,” she said.

Any small business who has not already been contacted should contact their bank to apply.

Banks have developed this Small Business Relief Package following discussions with APRA and ASIC to provide the appropriate regulatory treatment.

The package is subject to authorisation by the ACCC.