The guide, developed by the ASBFEO in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance, is primarily written for accountants, bookkeepers and other accredited financial advisers, to assist their small-business clients to find appropriate funding and increase their chances of getting approved for finance.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said trading conditions have changed dramatically since the release of the first Business Funding Guide last year.
“The guide was originally intended to help small businesses secure funding for growth, however, given the heavy toll the COVID crisis has taken on small businesses, the focus is now firmly on their survival,” Ms Carnell said.
“While many small businesses are still eligible for government support, these measures are temporary and plans will need to be made to fund their recovery, reinvention and growth.”
The independent guide now provides comprehensive up-to-date information about a range of funding options available to small businesses, along with a step-by-step pathway to becoming “finance fit, to give small businesses their best chance at success with the application process.
The guide also outlines the main funding options, including a Funding Decision Flowchart and Funding Matrix and uses scenarios to show what funding options might suit different business needs.
Ms Carnell stated that “even at the best of times, many small businesses face an uphill battle to secure funding.”
“We know many have not bothered to apply due to the onerous application process and unrealistic serviceability requirements. Even for loans that have been 50 per cent guaranteed by the federal government, small businesses have been asked for all sorts of documentation including director guarantees, which really means the family home,” Ms Carnell said.
“That’s why it is crucial small businesses understand the growing range of financial providers and products on the market – the big four banks are not the only game in town!
“Small business owners that need funding to stay afloat and recover from this challenging period need to consider all of the funding options, including those that are not tied to the family home, to make the best choice for their business.
“Finally, it is vital small business borrowers ensure their lender is an AFCA member and talk to their trusted accredited financial adviser – who has our Business Funding Guide – before taking out a loan.”