Popular belief suggests that small businesses struggle to secure finance, particularly from the bigger banks.
It’s assumed that even if the main operators are partial to lending, the approval process at the top end of town is so onerous that it deters most small businesses from even asking the question in the first place.
But when they do, the response might come as a surprise.
According to the Australian Banking Association (ABA), the approval rate for small business loans now sits at 94 percent. That’s right. Just six out of every 100 small businesses that apply for a bank loan are getting knocked back.
The ABA claims new codes and practices have ensured a fairer and simpler process. It concedes changes needed to be made to address a worrying decline in small business loan applications, which have slid 33 percent since 2014. Clearly, there was an image problem.
ABA boss Anna Blight said: “There are more than two million small businesses in Australia, that employ more than four-and-a-half million people. They are the true engine room of the economy and banks understand that having access to finance is vital.”