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Business loans for SMEs affected by the coronavirus outbreak

If your business is struggling in the face of the pandemic, find out what finance options can help.

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It's been a rocky start to the new decade for Aussie businesses, to say the least. Businesses still recovering from the impact of the bushfires are now having to face cancelled events, dwindling customers and supply chain disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It's taking a real toll on companies, particularly SMEs. If you're a business owner and you're facing financial issues as a result of the pandemic, there might be low or no-cost financing options that can help. Find out more about what business loan options are available during the coronavirus outbreak below.

We'll continue to update this page with resources and information as new details emerge in the world's response to COVID-19.

Update: 20 March 2020

A Small Business Relief Package has been announced for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. The relief package, which has been authorised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and implemented by the Australian Banking Association (ABA) and the banks, will defer all principal and interest payments for loans to small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. It is available to businesses in any sector.

Any small business who has not already been contacted by their bank about the Small Business Relief Package is being urged to get in touch with their bank. Banks have already begun contacting their customers and the packages will start rolling out in full on Monday.

Find out more details about this relief package here.

Where to find financial help for your business during the coronavirus outbreak

The ATO, national and state governments and the banks are offering businesses various forms of support during this time of crisis.

The ATO

Business owners who are struggling as a result of coronavirus impact are being offered help by the ATO. If you need help paying your existing and ongoing tax liabilities for your business, you can contact the ATO to discuss a low interest payment plan. The ATO is also allowing businesses to defer tax payments for 4-6 months.

As of 12 March 2020 and until 30 June 2020, the ATO has also increased the instant asset tax write-off from $30,000 to $150,000 and the qualifying turnover bracket from $50 million per year to $500 million per year. This means that any business with an annual turnover of $500 million or less can instantly write-off any business purchase under $150,000.

National and state governments

The Australian government is making attempts to support small businesses throughout this time. Updates regarding assistance and taxation changes for SMEs are being made regularly. You can find out what your options are here.Updates are as follows:

12 March 2020

A $17.6 billion package was announced to assist households and small businesses.

22 March 2020:

A further $66 billion stimulus package was announced to aid citizens and small businesses during the outbreak.

Update 30 March 2020:

The government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper Payment wage subsidy package to support businesses and employees. Businesses may be eligible to receive up to $1,500 per employee on a fortnightly basis. This would then be passed on in full to eligible workers. This will be available until 27 September 2020.

Government backed business loans

Business loans backed by the government are currently being made available to businesses affected by coronavirus across Australia. These government-backed business loans under the recently announced Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, are loans of up to $250,000 that are available to eligible Australian SMEs. These loans will all be unsecured with terms of up to three years with no repayments required for six months. There will also be no interest charged on these loans for unused funds - borrowers are only charged on what they draw down. Loans under this scheme also have no fees attached.

These loans will be made available to businesses until 30 September 2020.

  • Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme update

    Good news for businesses – the Australian Government has introduced a second phase of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. This second phase will see broader eligibility criteria, as well as loan terms and loan amounts being increased. While the current phase of the scheme is set to end on 30 September 2020, the second phase will be initiated from 1 October 2020 until 30 June 2021.

Is my bank offering the Small Business Relief Package?

The following banks are participating in this scheme:

Lender
Loans
ANZ
ANZ is offering business loans to new and existing customers affected by the coronavirus pandemic in line with the scheme.

New business loan customers can apply for loans under the scheme in the form of a business loan and business overdraft up to $250,000 with six month repayment deferral periods. After the six month period, overdraft users have the option of fully repaying the overdraft or rolling the balance into a term loan for up to 2.5 years.

Enquire now
Bank of Queensland
The Bank of Queensland is offering up to $250,000 in unsecured overdrafts for new and existing business customers under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.More info
Bank of us
The Bank of us is offering Tasmanian businesses access additional working capital in the form of overdrafts at a rate of 5.49% p.a. to support them through the upcoming months under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. The loans are subject to normal Bank of us credit assessment processes.
Bankwest
Bankwest has also confirmed that it will be providing lower rate business loans that comply with the terms of the scheme. The exact rates of these loans are yet to be released.More info
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank recently announced that the partnership will be participating in the scheme, but is still finalising the details of the loans.More info
Commonwealth Bank
CommBank announced that it would be making up to $10 billion in funds available for additional small business loans in line with the coronavirus relief scheme. The bank also said that interest rates on the new unsecured loans would be 5% p.a. lower than normal.More info
GetCapital
Customers can apply for a business overdraft, term loan or a working capital facility with GetCapital. The business overdraft is a revolving facility, where you only draw down on what you need and incur interest (deferred for the first 6 months) on the amount used. The term loan and working capital facility give successful applicants immediate access to approved funds in a single lump sum, with an online redraw option.More info
Heritage Bank
Heritage Bank is now offering government backed business loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme and applications are now open. New and existing applicants can apply.More info
IMB Bank
Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, IMB Bank's small business customers and sole traders can access loans of up to $75,000 to help bolster the working capital they need.
Judo Bank
Judo Bank is an SME-focussed challenger bank. It was recently awarded an additional $500 million in funding from the Australian government. This is in addition to its participation in the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.More info
Liberty Financial
Liberty is offering business care loans from $25,000 to $250,000 (with repayments deferred for 6 months and interest capitalised) in line with the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.
Lumi
Lumi is offering new and existing customers a small business loans and business lines of credit available from $2,000 to $250,000 in line with the scheme. Borrowers do not need to make repayments for the first 6 months.More info
Macquarie Bank
Macquarie Bank have been approved to offer loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.
Moula
Moula is still finalising the details of its government backed loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. Loans will be available to new and existing business customers.More info
MyState Bank
Under the government scheme, MyState are offering new and existing business loan customers access to loans of up to $250,000. Loans will be available at a rate of 5.5% p.a. at a variable rate, with no additional fees. Over the 6 month repayment holiday, funds from approved loans can be drawn down in 3 instalments.
OnDeck Capital
OnDeck Capital are offering new and existing customers business loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. OnDeck's loans are customised as per each individual business' needs. Repayment deferral periods with these loans will vary. The total interest payable is set out at the start of each loan
NAB
NAB has also agreed to partake in the government's Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. Business loans up to $250,000 will be available from NAB at a rate of 4.5% p.a. with no repayments for the first six months.More info
Queensland Country Bank
Queensland Country Bank are offering loans to businesses in line with the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. For full details of these loans, contact the lender directly.
Regional Australia Bank
Regional Australia Bank are also offering loans in line with the scheme. Contact the bank directly for further details.
Southern Cross Credit Union (SCCU)
The SCCU are offering a "Back to Business Loan" in line with the scheme at a variable rate of 4.40% p.a. and a "Back to Business Overdraft" at a rate of 6.40%p.a.
Speedy Finance
Speedy Finance are offering loans in line with the scheme from $20,000. Interest rates for Speedy Finance business loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme start from 18% p.a. All industries are considered, but applicants must have had a minimum 2 year ABN.More info
Spotcap
Spotcap are offering small business loans in line with the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme. Loans are issued according to Spotcap's underwriting criteria. Prospective borrowers should contact Spotcap for further details.More info
St.George Bank
St.George Bank has also announced that it will be participating in the scheme and new business loans are available effective as of 23 March 2020 to businesses affected by coronavirus.More info
Suncorp
Suncorp also announced that it will be taking part in the scheme, but is still finalising the details of its loans.
Tyro Payments
Business loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme are available up to $250,000 to existing customers only.
Westpac
Westpac announced its new business loans under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme on 22 March 2020. These loans will be offered at a 4% p.a. lower rate than Westpac's current unsecured business loan.More info

We strive to keep this list as updated as possible. If you do not see your bank or lender listed, it is still advisable to contact them regarding the scheme. You can also consult the government treasury website for a list of approved lenders.

The Small Business Relief Package

The ACCC has provided an urgent interim authorisation which will allow the ABA and Australian banks to implement a small business relief package. This package will allow banks to defer principal and interest payments for loans to small businesses for six months if they have been affected by COVID-19.

Businesses with existing loans are encouraged to get in touch with their bank if they haven't been contacted about their loans yet.

How the Small Business Relief Package will work

If your business is eligible for relief, your principal and interest payments will be delayed on all term and retail loans for a 6-month period. At the end of the period, you will not be required to pay the deferred interest in a lump sum. To repay the loan, the term of the loan will be extended or your repayments will be increased.

Banks can also choose to offer more favourable and tailored terms to small businesses who experience financial hardship.

Can I qualify?

The relief package is available to small businesses affected by COVID-19 in any sector. You need to have less than $3 million in total debt owed to credit providers.

How do I apply?

Banks have already started reaching out to their customers about the package and it will start rolling out in full on Monday. If you have not heard from your bank, you can get in contact with them directly.

Queensland is offering $500 million in business loans

Queensland is currently offering interest-free loans of up to $250,000 to businesses affected by coronavirus. These loans are available interest-free for 12 months and aim to help businesses cover costs and keep staff employed.

Tasmania is offering $20 million in small business support loans

The Tasmanian government has allocated $20 million towards interest-free loans for hospitality, tourism, seafood and export businesses with an annual turnover of less than $5 million. You can apply for a loan to purchase equipment or restructure business operations, with a maximum interest-free period of up to three years.

How to protect your business and employees during the coronavirus outbreak

As a business owner, it's your responsibility to take measures to protect your employees during this time.

  • Send sick employees home. This one goes without saying, but if someone is showing symptoms, they should be sent home immediately.
  • Remote working. If your employees can work from home, it's advisable to allow them to. People can carry the virus without showing symptoms. Slack, Zoom and Skype are your new best friends.
  • Disinfect the workplace. If your employees can't work from home, it's important to keep a clean environment. Ensure that common areas and surfaces are clean, especially door handles, desks and keyboards. And stock up on hand sanitiser.
  • Leave reminders on hygiene. While most people shouldn't require a reminder, some may. Hang posters reminding employees to wash their hands frequently and sneeze and cough into tissues. Encourage employees to avoid handshakes and contact where possible.
  • Apply for financing. Even if you're unsure as to whether you may need finance right now, things can take a turn for the worse very quickly. Ensure the safety of your employees by applying for a government grant, interest-free loan or business loan.

Compare small business loans

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Filter Values
Valiant Finance Business Loan Broker
$5,000
$1,000,000
3 months to 5 years
$0 application fee
A Business Lending Specialist from Valiant Finance can give you access to competitive business loans from over 70 lenders. Loans between $5,000 and $1 million are available. Request a call – your loan can be funded in 1 business day.
Prospa Business Loan
$5,000
$300,000
3 months to 3 years
3% origination fee
Small business loans are available from $5,000 - $300,000 on terms of up to 3 years. At least six months trading history and a monthly turnover from $6,000 is necessary.
Max Funding Unsecured Business Loan
$2,000
$300,000
1 month to 1 year
$0 application fee
An unsecured business loan from $2,000 that offers convenient pre-approval and no early repayment fees.
OnDeck Business Loans
$10,000
$250,000
6 months to 2 years
3% of loan amount
Apply for up to $250,000 and receive your approved funds in one business day. Minimum annual turnover of $100,000 and 1 year of trading history required.
ANZ Secured Business Loan
$10,000
$10,000,000
Up to 15 years
$600
Benefit from a low rate when you secure this loan with property and/or business assets. Loans from $10,000 available.
Westpac Business Loan
$5,000
$1,000,000
1 to 30 years
$0 application fee
Purchase a new vehicle, equipment or support your cash flow with a business finance solution from Westpac.
ANZ Unsecured Business Loan
$10,000
$1,000,000
Up to 15 years
$600
Apply for a loan from $10,000 with no security required and benefit from flexible repayment terms.
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