SME’s are vital for the economic growth of regional areas, for creating new jobs and innovation. However, at the same time SME’s are often believed to be unable to obtain funding because they do not possess sufficient collateral or a deemed a risk of loss to most banks and lenders.
There is a common assumption that when you live regionally everything is harder, that borrowing what you need for a regional business or being self employed means it is near impossible to borrow the money you may need.
This is simply not true and needs to change. With the right information and help you can find the right pathway to achieve your business and personal goals.
Two of the main pathways to take are finding a broker that understands your business and regional lending and a bank that has a regional focus; and/or obtaining a government business grant designed for regional growth and support.
Finding the right lender –
There are many factors why banks can be conservative when it comes to approving rural business loans. It can be due to drought, bushfire or flood zones creating fluctuating markets, the state of the international economy of exporting of goods, farming demographics or simple the bank has no commercial appetite for your location. At the end of the day the main component is the banks protecting their assets and ensuring they can offset any losses.
Finding the right lender can, however, significantly improve your chances and help you grow and finance your business or upgrade your equipment. Certain Banks specialise in helping regional customers achieve their lifestyle and business goals. As they specialise in regional areas, they are more inclined to be flexible and take into account different circumstances that can face living regionally and the importance of sustainability and prosperity of regional communities. At SFE loans we specialise in assisting regional customers meet their business lending needs, whilst protecting their credit ratings by not lodging multiple applications, just hoping they will work.
Here are 5 tips to improving your chances of obtaining regional loans -
1- Ensure that your financial statements and tax returns are up to date.
2- Have a business plan and cashflow forecast that takes into account seasonal variations.
3- Don’t bank with one lender only – spread your bank accounts across lenders, broadening your chances of accessing ‘existing customer’ finance.
4- Plan ahead and build a relationship with your broker 6 months before you need to finance.
5- Know what your maximum affordability would be – how much you can afford in repayments.
Government Business Grants –
There are many government rural business grants available. These are created to help those in regional areas start, grow and maintain their business’s, whether it be agricultural, retail or trades focused there is typically a grant to help all SME business interests. You can see what some of the current ones are by following this link -
The ability for SME’s to access lending continues to be a compressing issue for regionally based people. Without the right connections and knowledge small businesses are unable to get the adequate financial support to be able to continue their vital contributions to the personal, employment and economic growth of regional communities.
Having recently re-located one of our offices to Maclean (Northern Rivers region of NSW) we are experiencing firsthand the confusion surrounding being able to borrow when regionally based. If you are finding you aren’t being approved for loans, grants or unable to find the correct lender to support your business dreams get in touch with us at SFE Loans today and we can discuss the best avenues for you to take with no setbacks.