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November 29, 2021

Access to capital critical for small business

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Many businesses and in particular small business, have been really struggling under the weight of COVID-19 and with the rollback of JobKeeper, things have just gotten tougher.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell is urging the Federal Government to establish a revenue-contingent loan scheme for small businesses, to provide them with the cash flow they need to survive the next 12 months.

With government support measures being withdrawn, banks continuing to subject small business borrowers to onerous credit assessment processes, rent relief ending and the impact of recent lockdowns and border closures, Ms Carnell says access to finance could mean the difference between life and death for many small businesses.     

‘Unfortunately it’s a perfect storm scenario – especially for those small businesses that haven’t been able to fully recover from the COVID crisis,’ Ms Carnell says.

‘Access to credit will be critical to keeping those otherwise viable small businesses afloat, particularly over the coming months as support measures are phased out and the bills start flowing in again.

A revenue-contingent loan program

Ms Carnell is calling on the Federal Government to introduce a revenue-contingent loan program for small businesses, similar to HECS, requiring borrowers to repay when their turnover reaches a designated level.

The loan would be Government-funded and capped at a percentage of the small business’ annual revenue. Applicants would need to satisfy a viability test conducted by an accredited adviser to be eligible.

‘Sudden lockdowns and border closures have heavily impacted small businesses in recent weeks – it’s no wonder they are scared to take on additional bank debt given conditions can deteriorate so rapidly,’ Ms Carnell says.

‘Even in the best of times, small businesses have struggled to secure finance. Taking into account the enormous challenges they are now facing, the fallout of insufficient working capital could be devastating, not only for small business owners and their staff, but for the broader economy.

‘The latest ASIC data shows external administrator appointments were up by 23% in December 2020 and economists are predicting the number of businesses entering voluntary administration to rise this year.

‘A revenue contingent loan scheme would give small businesses the confidence they need to seek funding, so they can survive and employ again. It’s essential to Australia’s economic recovery’.

 


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

COVID update – Aquarius, Lismore sewage fragments and the South African...

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there have been no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the 24 hours to 8pm 28 November, but, they are urging residents in the Lismore area to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.

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COVID weekend summary: Aquarius and a new Tweed case

The Northern NSW Local Health District is encouraging residents and visitors to Byron Bay to get tested for COVID-19, after being notified of a number of confirmed cases in the area during the last week.

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COVID update: a new Byron case, Aquarius and Community Support Accommodation

The Northern NSW Local Health District says there was one new case of COVID-19 was reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 25. This case is located in the Byron Local Government Area, a traveller from outside the region and e is not associated with the Aquarius Backpackers.

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What’s Nu in COVID variants? Highlighted need for stronger Australian contribution

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Two new COVID cases on the Tweed

The Northern NSW Local Health District Northern NSW Local Health District have announced this afternoon that there were two new cases of COVID-19 reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm, November 21.

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COVID fragments at Banora Point and Kingscliff and new venues of...

The Northern NSW Local Health District is urging residents in the Tweed Shire, particularly in the Banora Point and Kingscliff areas to be alert for COVID-19 symptoms following the detection of fragments of the virus in sewage samples.

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COVID update – November 19, three new cases

The Northern NSW Local Health District said this afternoon, that three new cases of COVID-19 were reported for NNSWLHD to 8pm on November 18.

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November 13 COVID update – 1 new case and 1 new...

Northern NSW Local HealthDistrict says that there has been one new case of COVID-19  reported for the area to 8pm yesterday, Friday November 12.

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Byron Community Centre had a COVID case last Tuesday

The Byron Community Centre has this afternoon announced that they closed today, Friday November 12 owing to a confirmed positive COVID-19.

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