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ASBFEO unveils small business funding guide to help crack credit crunch

The ASBFEO has released a guide to help tackle the access to funding crisis faced by Australian small businesses.

ASBFEO unveils small business funding guide to help crack credit crunch
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  • Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
  • July 29, 2019
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The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) formally unveiled its Business Funding Guide on Monday, targeted at accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisers to help their small business clients find the right funding.

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

“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.”

The guide, developed in partnership with alternative lender Scottish Pacific Business Finance, is based on consultations with associations such as the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), and other key stakeholders representing the small business sector.

Its aim is to help accountants and advisers walk their clients through key steps to improve their credit worthiness and produce a comprehensive business case for investment.

The ASBFEO has also created a companion guide, called FitSME – Essential Guide to Business Funding, that gives small business operators the most important information they need to know about becoming ‘finance fit’.

“For small business to continue to be the engine room of the economy, access to affordable and appropriate finance is vitally important,” said Ms Carnell.

“I am pleased to present this guide to those supporting small businesses in their pursuit of growth and success.”

Scottish Pacific CEO Peter Langham explained that the key to success for small business 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,” said Mr Langham.

Tony Greco, general manager of technical policy at the IPA, applauded the ASBFEO’s efforts. He explained that in an environment where one in three small business owners have their applications for bank loans rejected, small businesses need to turn to their accountants to help them with their financial fitness long before they decide to seek funds. 

What is in the guide?

The guide outlines the main funding options, includes a handy Funding Decision Flowchart and Funding Matrix, and uses scenarios to show what funding options might suit different business needs.

It covers important steps to help accountants and advisers help their clients get finance fit before they seek funding, so they are in good shape for success.

Sections include a finance fit checklist, a funding options overview, a guide to business finance products, as well as mental health tips.

The guide will be updated on an ongoing basis, with the ASBFEO welcoming feedback on the content and its usefulness from all interested parties. A final version of the guide is expected to be available later this year.

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