A new report has revealed bank lending to small businesses has reached its highest level on record in 2015.
SME lending reaches record high
According to the latest economic report by the Australian Bankers’ Association (ABA), banks approved approximately $88 billion in new small business loans last year, up from $77 billion two years ago.
The report found almost nine in every 10 small businesses said they do not see access to finance, or the capacity to finance further growth in their business, as an "issue" – a slight increase from two years ago.
Furthermore, the report revealed that the majority of small businesses that seek finance are successful.
ABA chief executive Steven Münchenberg said that while it is clear banks are increasingly making it easier for small businesses to access finance, there’s still some room for improvement.
"While banks' lending to the small businesses sector is strong, we recognise that for some small businesses, being able to access finance is still a concern," he said.
"To help with this, we have developed a new website that explains what banks look for in assessing loan applications. It also shows how different types of finance may suit different small businesses."
Mr Münchenberg said the website, financingyoursmallbusiness.com.au, was developed in conjunction with CPA Australia and is backed by the Council of Small Business Australia and NSW Business Chamber.
"We realised that small businesses would benefit from guidance on how to present information in a loan application that goes beyond just providing the company accounts," he said.
"With further tax breaks for small businesses announced in last week's federal budget, it's a great time to be a small business in Australia."