Australia’s major banks support for small businesses affected by COVID-19
March 21, 2020
You may be surprised to hear that all of Australia’s major business banks have prepared relief packages and support measures for small business struggling with the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
If you are one of the thousands of small to medium sized businesses struggling with a downturn due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, now is a good time to check what support your bank is offering to help you through this challenging period.
In the first instance, banks are requesting that business customers currently impacted by the spread of coronavirus to contact them directly to discuss their situation. Relief packages are currently offered on a case-by-case basis.
For those worried about the prospect of managing bills, some major banks are offering to:
defer loan and credit card repayments;
extend loan terms; or
waive the fee to restructure finances
Some banks have also offered to waive merchant fees on their payment terminals for 90 days, so businesses can retain a greater share of the sales they make.
If your business needs cash in hand immediately, your bank may waive the withdrawal fee and interest rate reduction for term-deposits. As an example, Suncorp are willing to offer working capital assistance to eligible customers.
Further, some may be able to apply for an emergency credit card limit increase. Commonwealth Bank have even implemented additional resources and extended their hours to fast-track small business loans.
Sometimes it is not just businesses that need extra help, but the owner’s themselves. Some banks are also offering relief to their personal customers, such as reducing home loan rates by a quarter of a percent and home loan relief.
Some banks are yet to offer official coronavirus relief packages but most have dedicated financial hardship pages on their website outlining types of relief that can be offered to struggling businesses.
If your business is feeling the squeeze, it may be time to contact your bank directly to determine if there is any relief available, even if they are not mentioned in this advice.
Links to the major banks’ COVID-19 responses and financial difficulty pages are compiled below.
2 Cantonment Street,
Fremantle WA 6160
(Level 1, Behind The Church)
PO Box 1616, Fremantle WA 6959