SME Recovery Loan Scheme

The Government’s $5 million loan scheme, aimed at helping SMEs get back on their feet, is now available to even more businesses.

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What is the SME Recovery Loan Scheme?

The SME Loan Recovery Scheme is designed to support small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic and extended lockdowns throughout 2020 and 2021. The loans are worth up to $5 million, and are an extension of the existing SME Guarantee Scheme.

2022 changes to the scheme.

The SME Recovery Loan Scheme has been expanded until 30 June 2022. Loans taken after 1 January 2022 will have a Government guarantee of 50% instead of the former 80%.

Not only are the loans designed to support Australian businesses that have been impacted financially from the covid-induced economic downturn, but the government hopes they will also help to prop up the economy.

Here's who is eligible for the loans, the loan details and how to apply for one.

Is your business eligible?

Your business is eligible for the SME Recovery Loan Scheme if it has a turnover of up to $250 million and meets at least one of the following:

  • Your business received JobKeeper payments between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021, or
  • Your business was impacted by the floods in March 2021, or
  • Your business has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The scheme is also open to self-employed individuals and non-profit organisations, provided the above criteria is met. If your business has previously accessed a loan under the previous SME Guarantee Schemes you're still eligible to apply again for this new extended scheme.

What are the loan details?

The business loans are offered via commercial lenders including the Big Four banks, as well as smaller lenders including Judo Bank and GetCapital. However, the government is guaranteeing 50% of the loan amount.

The loans are up to $5 million in total and can be either secured or unsecured, and for a repayment period of up to 10 years. Lenders are also able to offer a repayment holiday period of up to 24 months, but they aren't required to do so. The interest rate offered is determined by each lender and will generally be capped at 7.5%.

What can I use the SME Recovery Loan loan for?

The loan is designed to support SMEs with their recovery following the coronavirus pandemic, and can be used for many different things. If eligible, your business can use the loan for a number of purposes including:

You can't use the loans issued under the scheme to:

  • Purchase residential property
  • Purchase financial products
  • Lend money to another entity
  • Lease, rent or hire existing assets

Which lenders are participating in the SME Recovery Loan Scheme?

  • ANZ
  • Bank of Queensland
  • CommBank
  • Fifo Capital Australia
  • GetCapital
  • Judo Bank
  • Liberty Finance
  • Moneytech Finance
  • NAB
  • Regional Australia Bank
  • Social Enterprise Finance Australia
  • South West Credit Union Co-operative
  • Suncorp
  • The Mutual Bank
  • TrailBlazer Finance
  • Unity Bank
  • Webster Dolilta Finance
  • Westpac

Comparing some of the Major Banks' options

Name Product Min. Loan Amount Max. Loan Amount Loan Term Upfront Fee Filter Values
ANZ Business Loan under the Government SME Recovery Loan Scheme
Up to 10 years
No approval or administrative fees
This loan only applies to businesses eligible under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. Bounce back from lockdowns with a loan of up to $5,000,000 with this Australian government backed business loan. Variable rates between 2.49% p.a. and 2.99% p.a.
BOQ SME Recovery Loan Scheme Business Loan
Up to 10 years
No approval or administrative fees
This loan only applies to businesses eligible under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. An Australian Government backed business loan to help businesses recover from the Coronavirus pandemic.
CommBank SME Restarter Loan
Up to 10 years
No approval or administrative fees
This loan only applies to businesses eligible under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. Borrow up to $5,000,000 with a special, low rate loan supported by the Australian government to help businesses recover from lockdowns. Variable rates range from 2.6% p.a. to 3.75% p.a.
NAB Business Recovery Loan
Up to 10 years
No approval or administrative fees
An Australian government backed loan with competitive rates to assist businesses after lockdowns. Borrow up to $5,000,000. Variable rates from 2.8% p.a. up to 3.95% p.a.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to apply for a loan

If your business is eligible, you can apply for a loan before 31 December 2021.

You need to apply directly through a commercial business loan lender rather than applying via the government. The lender will assess your application and determine the specific loan terms, and the lender also has the right to decline your loan application.

As the details of the loan (including the interest rate, term length and the option for a repayment holiday) are at the discretion of the lender, the government has encouraged businesses to shop around and compare business loans before applying for a loan under this new scheme.

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