The Australian Banking Association says banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 lockdowns throughout Australia for three months.
“Deferred COVID loan repayments is a positive initiative that will help many struggling small businesses stay afloat in these challenging times,” says the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson .
“The banks’ commitment to supporting small businesses through this period is highly valued and is the kind of a key support element that could be incorporated into an agreed predictable and known national framework of support.
“Such a framework, involving both Government and private sector elements, step up as COVID-inspired economic constraints and introduced, up-levelled or extended that small and family businesses can count on when seeking to navigate these challenging and uncertain times.
“I would encourage all small businesses owners who are experiencing financial difficulties to call their banks now to make the necessary arrangements.
“Home loan support, including deferrals on a month-by-month basis, is also available to small business customers.
“Banks are promising to support small businesses if they need it – so long as the loan is in good standing with repayments up-to-date or there’s a payment program in place.
“It’s encouraging to see our banks taking this proactive approach and leading by example.
“This consistency from the banks will help small businesses navigate and adapt to periods of uncertainty such as this.”