Ombudsman seeks feedback on Business Funding Guide

By Nick Hall | 04 Sep 2019 View comments

A tumultuous year for the banking sector has hit Australian small business hard, with prospective entrepreneurs finding access to finance more difficult than ever. However, a new document, the Business Funding Guide may help to streamline the process.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) released the guide in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance back in July. Now the industry ombudsman is seeking feedback.

The Business Funding Guide is an industry-first publication written for accountants, bookkeepers, brokers and other financial advisors to help small business clients find funding.

The document also aims to get prospective owners ‘finance fit’, by increasing the likelihood of having their funding applications approved.

Kate Carnell, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman said the guide was developed in response to growing sector concern.

“The overwhelming feedback from the small business community is that a lack of access to funding is their biggest barrier to growth,” she said.

“The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has even acknowledged that small business loan applications have fallen by 33 per cent since 2014.”

Business Funding Guide feedback

Throughout the development of the Business Funding Guide, the ASBFEO and Scottish Pacific consulted widely with advisor associations and small business representative bodies.

July’s release saw the first edition made public, however now, further feedback is being sought to finalise the guide.

“At the moment this is a living document that can be amended and improved based on the feedback we get, with a final version of the guide to be available later this year,” Carnell said.

Peter Langham, Scottish Pacific CEO said that feedback from prospective franchisees and entrepreneurs was critical to the success of the new Business Funding Guide.

“There are so many variables in running a small business, but the one constant is that SMEs need funds to grow,” he said.

“By incorporating broad feedback, the guide will be able to really engage businesses and their advisers about a wide range of bank and non-bank funding options and give them the tools to find the right one for them.”

All interested parties are encouraged to actively provide feedback on the Business Funding Guide before the 18 October deadline.