Government invites comments on legislation for Australian Business Growth Fund
The government has launched a consultation on the draft legislation for the planned Australian Business Growth Fund, but has given interested parties only a few days to submit their feedback.
The Morrison government has released for consultation exposure draft legislation that will allow it to invest in an Australian Business Growth Fund (BGF) to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have access to the finance they need.
“With better access to more competitive finance, SMEs will be able to grow, fulfil their potential and continue to underpin Australian economic growth and employment,” the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and minister for small business Michaelia Cash said in a joint statement.
Under the draft legislation, the government is committing $100 million in funding to establish the BGF and partnering with other financial institutions to provide equity funding to SMEs. The aim is for the fund to grow to $1 billion as it matures.
This is expected to significantly enhance the ability of SMEs to access funding, filling a gap in the market that is preventing them from reaching their full potential.
The BGF complements other government initiatives to support SMEs, including the $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund, which is envisioned to helps small businesses get the funding they need at a better rate.
“With more than 3 million small and medium-sized businesses employing around 7 million Australians, enhancing small business access to funding is part of the Coalition government’s plan for a stronger economy,” Mr Frydenberg and Ms Cash said.
Legislation to establish the BGF will be introduced to Parliament before the end of 2019.
All interested parties are invited to lodge submissions through the Treasury website before consultation closes on 8 November 2019.