The Australian Banking Association (ABA) and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) have launched a website, providing a range of resources for aspiring small-business owners, including a step-by-step guide to applying for finance.
The website (financingyoursmallbusiness.com.au) contains templates, checklists and other information pertaining to creating a business plan, using a trusted adviser, and applying for small-business finance. The website contains content developed in conjunction with CPA Australia previously.
Coinciding with the launch of the website, the ABA released a report, titled SME lending in Australia, which stated that 94 per cent of loan applications submitted by small businesses to ABA member banks had been approved in the last 18 months.
However, the number of applications lodged has fallen by 33 per cent since 2014.
Commenting on this finding, ABA chief executive Anna Bligh said: “There could be many reasons for the downturn, including believing that they won’t get a loan, thinking it takes too long, deeming the application process too complex, or they’re simply borrowing money from other sources.
“Encouragingly, there has been a lift in the June quarter. It’s early days, but we hope that it will continue.”
Ms Bligh, while addressing COSBOA’s National Small Business Summit in Melbourne on Friday (30 August) suggested that the finance sector and small businesses have a symbiotic relationship.
“Banks and small businesses, I think everybody understands, that we need each other,” she said.
“Banks work in partnership right across Australia with businesses of all sizes, lending to people to start and to grow their business, helping them with assistance to pay their staff and manage their cash flow, helping to transact with customers every minute of the day – literally billions of interactions between Australia’s banks and Australia’s small businesses each and every day of each and every year.”
The launch of the Financing Your Small Business website follows that of the Business Funding Guide developed by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance.
The Business Funding Guide, however, is targeted towards brokers, accountants, bookkeepers and financial advisers “because of the key role they play in helping business owners with financial decisions”, with a supplementary guide aimed directly at business owners.
The ASBFEO-Scottish Pacific guide covers a range of topics, including: tips for getting business accounts in order, what a business plan should include, finance fitness checks, how to identify the right type of funding, debt options and other relevant resources.