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20 March 2020

Banks do the right thing for COVID-19 affected small businesses

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell has praised the banks, which have today announced a significant relief package for COVID-19 impacted small businesses.

The Australian Banking Association says banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months

 “This is a welcome initiative that will help many struggling small businesses keep their doors open during these extraordinarily challenging times,” Ms Carnell says.

“I would encourage all small business owners who are experiencing financial difficulties, to call their banks now, to make the necessary arrangements.

“Banks are promising to fast-track the approval process to ensure small businesses get the support they need as soon as possible.

The assistance package will apply to more than $100 billion of existing small business loans and put up to $8 billion back into the hands of small businesses.

“As we navigate this unprecedented crisis, it’s encouraging to see our banks are taking this proactive approach and leading by example,” Ms Carnell says.

“Our small business sector is the engine room of the economy and it urgently needs support.

“In the meantime, my office will continue to advocate for additional measures to help small and family businesses stay afloat in this difficult period.”