COSBOA, jointly with the Australian Bankers Association (ABA), today released a milestone report on access to finance for people in the small business community.
Peter Strong, Executive Director of COSBOA said today “For too long businesses and the banks have not cooperated on working out the best ways to meet all our needs. Australia needs solid profitable banks and also a thriving small business community. This report, coming from close cooperation, informs us all on how to achieve the best results.”
COSBOA knows that not all small business people want to access capital and indeed most just wish to be left alone to run their business and earn a living. We are also aware that those who do need capital are often the ones who want to grow, who will have the capacity to employ more people, to innovate and experiment and develop new products and processes. This is essential to increasing productivity and ensuring our nation’s standard of living does not drop. These high growth people do find accessing finance is difficult.
Mr Strong added “The report is comprehensive and provides a base for the banks in developing new products and better communications and for the small business sector in better targeting support to our members. As part of the process we identified that APRA needs to revisit its rules relating to funding limits and loan processes. We believe that there are tens of thousands of small business people, who want to grow their business and who are not high risk, and are inhibited from accessing finance.”
Mr Strong further added “This report has also been a great example of how big and small businesses can cooperate to improve the marketplace, in this case in financing. We congratulate Steven Munchenberg, ABA CEO, and his staff and look forward to continuing to work together to support the backbone of our economy, small business people.”
COSBOA also knows that separately the banks will ensure that small business people are told why their loans are rejected and what they can do to complete better applications. This is an area where the banks acknowledge they need to improve. We will also be starting a process with our member the Australian Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AWCCI) on better information about women in business and their capacity to access finance.