Industry feedback sought to shape SME funding resource

by Madison Utley10 Sep 2019

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell, is calling on the finance industry to help shape the next edition of a new resource intended to support SMEs through the process of obtaining finance.

The Business Funding Guide, launched in July following a partnership between ASBFEO and Scottish Pacific, is a publication for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers to help their small business clients get ‘finance fit’ and increase the likelihood of their finance application being approved.

It’s further intended to help small business clients find the right funding option to meet their business’ needs. 

“The overwhelming feedback from the small business community is that a lack of access to funding is their biggest barrier to growth,” said Carnell.

“The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has even acknowledged that small business loan applications have fallen by 33% since 2014.”

The ASBFEO and Scottish Pacific consulted with key stakeholders in the small business sector to produce the first edition, and are now inviting further feedback to finalise the guide, something they aim to do before the end of 2019.

“We welcome feedback on the content and usefulness of the guide from all interested parties,” said Carnell.

“Our Business Funding Guide offers comprehensive information on the range of financial products on the market – it’s crucial small business understands that the big four banks are not the only game in town.”

The companion document, entitled FitsME- Essential Guide to Business Funding, is an additional resource for small business operators that clearly outlines the most important information they need to know when applying for finance. 

“By incorporating broad feedback, the guide will be able to really engage businesses and their advisers about a wide range of bank and non-bank funding options and give them the tools to find the right one for them,” said Scottish Pacific CEO, Peter Langham.

Feedback on the Business Funding Guide should be sent to inquiries@asbfeo.gov.au before 18 October.