The Australian Government’s extended Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will support small and medium sized trucking businesses to keep operating through the COVID-19 crisis and invest in the future, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chair David Smith said today.
Mr Smith was responding to the announcement that the Government will extend the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, which supports small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to access additional loans from participating lenders.
“Trucking is a small and family business industry. Almost 98 per cent of trucking operators are small businesses,” Mr Smith said.
“Access to loans and credit is critical for businesses to meet financial obligations, invest, adapt and ultimately grow our economy.
“The ATA welcomes the Government’s commitment to supporting small business, and the critical recognition that this support must extend into 2021.”
The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme currently guarantees 50 per cent of new unsecured loans to SMEs for working capital. Under the extended scheme, the purpose of the loans will be expanded to include a wider range of investment.
“Key changes to the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will increase the support that is available to small businesses,” Mr Smith said.
“These changes will extend the purpose of loans to support a wider range of investment, permit some secured lending, increase maximum loan sizes from $250,000 to $1 million, increase the maximum loan term from three to five years and allow lenders the discretion to offer a repayment holiday.
“This new phase for the guarantee scheme will commence on 1 October 2020 and be available until 30 June 2021,” he said.
The Australian Government’s package of COVID-19 economic measures is supporting investment in new, safer trucks and trailers and local truck manufacturing jobs.
“Now is the time for trucking businesses to take advantage of this support for business investment, and use either the instant asset write off or the 50 per cent investment allowance to invest in new, safer trucks and trailers to keep Australia’s economy moving,” Mr Smith said.
The ATA and its member associations collectively represent the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.