The Federal Government has announced that it will extend the SME Recovery Loan Scheme in order to provide further support to flood-affected businesses in areas of NSW and Queensland.
The Scheme was originally designed to help businesses that were on the now-ended JobKeeper scheme, by providing them with easier and more cost-effective access to finance, greater repayment flexibility, and the ability to refinance existing loans into the Scheme.
From 1 April, businesses impacted by Covid and the floods will also be eligible to access the SME Recovery Loan Scheme. These flood-affected businesses will not be required to have previously been on JobKeeper to be eligible.
Businesses with a turnover of less than $250-million
Expansion of the Scheme will allow eligible flood-affected businesses with a turnover of less than $250-million to be able to access loans of up to $5-million over a term of up to 10 years. They will also be offered up to 24-month repayment holidays.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said businesses will be able to rebuild quickly. “We want businesses and producers affected by floods to get back on their feet. Know that the Federal Government is backing you.”
The PM added that this loan extension will allow businesses to have the security of capital to develop a tailored recovery plan that works best for them.
Aim is to get SMEs back on their feet, says Treasurer
Expanding on the announcement, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: “The Federal Government is committed to ensuring small businesses get the support they need in the face of these devastating floods.
“The extension of this scheme will help businesses in the flood-affected areas get back on their feet.”
Last week the Insurance Council of Australia declared a catastrophe for large parts of New South Wales and South East Queensland struck by devastating floods.
More than 17,000 insurance claims have now been filed
The industry received upwards of 17,000 claims filed, with the bulk from New South Wales and around 15 percent from Queensland.
The worst affected reasons are mid-north coast towns of Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Laurieton and Taree, and west Sydney in areas around Penrith and the Hawkesbury-Nepean valley.
Under the Catastrophe declaration, claims from affected policyholders will be given priority by insurers.