Australia expands loan scheme to help SMEs through COVID-19 crisis

CANBERRA (XINHUA) – The Australian government yesterday announced an expansion of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) survive the pandemic.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday announced that the AUD40 billion loan scheme will continue to run until June 2021, nine months after the planned end in September 2020.

Under the revised scheme businesses with a turnover of up to AUD50 million will be eligible to receive loans of up to AUD1 million,four times more than the previous cap of AUD250,000.

The maximum loan term will be extended from three to five years. The announcement came ahead of Frydenberg delivering an update on Australia’s economic and fiscal outlook on Thursday.