How Can Covid SME Recovery Loan Scheme Help My Business?

Sep 15, 2021 | Finance

SME Recovery Loan Scheme

The Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme (the Scheme) is designed to support the economic recovery and provide continued assistance to SMEs dealing with the economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

On 25 August 2021, the Government announced changes to eligibility requirements for the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. Current requirements for SME’s to have received JobKeeper during the March quarter of 2021 or to have been an eligible flood-affected business under the Scheme will be removed.

The Scheme is enhancing lenders’ abilities to provide cheaper credit to otherwise viable SMEs for additional funding to get through the Coronavirus crisis, recover and invest for the future.

Loans are available from 1 April 2021 until 31 December 2021.

The Scheme is open to SMEs with a turnover of up to $250 million, both selfemployed individuals and non-profit businesses are eligible. Businesses that have accessed loans in Phase 1 and Phase 2 can also apply for loans under the scheme. 

Participating lenders are offering guaranteed loans on the following terms under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme: 

  • the Government guarantee will be 80% of the loan amount 
  • lenders are allowed to offer borrowers a repayment holiday of up to 24 months
  • loans can be used for a broad range of business purposes, including investment support 
  • loans may be used to refinance any pre-existing debt of an eligible borrower, including those from the SME Guarantee Scheme 
  • borrowers can access up to $5 million in total, in addition to the Phase 1 and Phase 2 loan limits 
  • loans are for terms of up to 10 years, with an optional repayment holiday period
  • loans can be either unsecured or secured (excluding residential property) 
  • the interest rate on loans will be determined by lenders but will be capped at around 7.5 percent, with some flexibility for interest rates on variable rate loans to increase if market interest rates rise over time. 

Lenders can offer any suitable product to the borrower except credit cards, charge cards, debit cards, or business cards. Loans issued under the Scheme may take any other form of credit providing eligibility criteria are met.

Loans issued under the Scheme cannot be used to:

  • purchase residential property 
  • purchase financial products 
  • lend to an associated entity, or 
  • lease, rent, hire or hire purchase existing assets that are more than half-way into their effective life. 

What can SME Recovery Loans be used for? 

Loans issued under the Scheme can be used to refinance existing loans or for a broad range of business purposes including: 

  • business assets 
  • working capital 
  • commercial property 
  • acquiring another business. 

The following lenders have been approved to participate in the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.

  • ANZ 
  • Bank of Queensland 
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia 
  • Fifo Capital Australia 
  • Get Capital 
  • Judo Bank 
  • Liberty Finance 
  • Moneytech Finance 
  • National Australia Bank 
  • Regional Australia Bank 
  • Social Enterprise Finance Australia 
  • South West Credit Union Co-operative 
  • Suncorp-Metway 
  • The Mutual Bank 
  • TrailBlazer Finance
  • Unity Bank 
  • Webster Dolilta Finance Ltd
  • Westpac

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