New funding guide aims to ease small business credit woes

The first edition of the ASBFEO’s Business Funding Guide has launched, providing information to advisors on how small businesses might best gain access to capital.

Published by the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance, the Business Funding Guide is designed for accountants, bookkeepers and other advisors so that they can better assist their small business clients seeking additional funds.

And to make sure they’ve included the best information available, ASBFEO and Scottish Pacific Business Finance consulted closely with advisor associations and other relevant bodies representing small businesses across Australia.

In a recent press release, ombudsman Kate Carnell announced the launch of the guide as way to tackle the increasingly complex funding landscape.

“The biggest barrier to small business growth is access to finance,” said Carnell.

And the sentiment is echoed by MYOB’s recent Business Monitor survey, which found nearly a third of all small business respondents had attempted to access finance in the past 12 months. A third of those who sought access to finance did so unsuccessfully.

The survey also found the reason most businesses apply for finance is to support working capital (31 percent of respondents), followed by paying staff (30 percent), which indicates cash flow is likely to be an ongoing concern for small business operators.


Helping small businesses get finance fit


As a complementary resource, ASBFEO has also released FitSME – Essential Guide to Business Funding, to give small business operators the most important information they need to know about becoming ‘finance fit’.

The two documents should be considered key ingredients for small business owners hoping to create a recipe for funding success.

“This independent guide provides comprehensive up-to-date information about a range of funding options available to them, along with a step-by-step pathway to becoming ‘finance fit’ to give small business operators their best chance at securing funding,” said Carnell.

“We know that about a third of small business owners have had their applications for bank loans rejected.

“Many more have not bothered to even apply, as they’ve been told that unless they have significant equity in real estate, their application will fail.”

It’s for this reason, Carnell said, that small business operators need to “understand the range of financial providers and products on the market”, stating: “the big four banks are not the only game in town!”

For Scottish Pacific chief executive Peter Langham, the publication of these guides will provide time-poor business owners the information they need to best equip them to successfully obtain the right funding outcome for their needs.

“Business owners operate on long hours and carry a lot of responsibility, working so hard to grow their businesses,” said Langham.

“We feel very strongly that their key to success is understanding where to get assistance, including ways they can finance their enterprises, so they can find funding that fits their needs.

“Business operators looking to grow, employ and stimulate the economy, need to consider all of the funding options, including options that are not linked to their personal property, to make the best choice for their business.”

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