Printers welcome Frydenberg’s loan support

Printers welcome Frydenberg’s loan support
Federal government SME loan scheme “a good start”

Printers have greeted the federal government’s plan to securitise $2bn in business loans for small and medium sized enterprises positively, saying it is a good first step towards giving operators another option to expand and stay relevant.

The federal government’s Australian Business Securitisation Fund mirrors the same action it took when securing residential mortgages and warding off a recession in the 2008 global financial crisis.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg unveiled the plan on Wednesday and in a joint statement with federal Minister for Small Business Michaelia Cash said it would reduce funding costs to small business owners and provide a back up so they don’t have to remortgage their homes.

“The Australian Business Securitisation Fund will invest up to $2 billion in the securitisation market, providing significant additional funding to smaller banks and nonbank lenders to on-lend to small businesses on more competitive terms,” says Frydenberg and Cash.

Printing Industries Association of Australia (PIAA) CEO Andrew Macaulay welcomed the measures and says small businesses, including printers, had been hit hard after the Hayne banking royal commission led to a major credit squeeze.

Macaulay says, “Phoenixing continues to be an issue. If this scheme is coupled with the good application of the phoenixing laws then it will be very good for small printers running sustainable businesses.”

PIAA President Walter Kuhn says the measures were a good first step but also joined the call on ASIC to come down harder on phoenixing.

He says, “Well it’s a start after the Hayne royal commission funding has been tight particularly in the SME area and they need investment to grow.

“There needs to be a holistic approach put in place to facilitate SMEs so they can move forward, reducing red tape that cost dollars and time.”

[Related: http://www.proprint.com.au/News/391990,piaa-supports-turnbull-budget.aspx]

Theo Pettaras at Sydney’s Digital Press says small business is finally getting the attention and support it deserves.

“It has been increasingly more difficult and further intensified in the wake of the banking royal commission, which has prompted the big banks to tighten their belts. Printing companies are on their watch list. We rely heavily on capital investment for equipment and technology in order to remain relevant as a service provider. Without funding it would be near impossible to transition as and when required,” Pettaras told ProPrint.

Emmanuel Buhagiar of Imagination Graphics agrees, saying the measures would give printers another option if they want to expand.

Buhagiar says, “It is a great initiative and will help printers who are looking at refinancing so they can enter into the digital market and continue to move their business forward..

Buhagiar, who has already upgraded his operation, says he is eyeing new equipment for next year and may himself benefit from the scheme.

“This scheme will give printers another option and an opportunity to help them grow their business,” says Buhagiar.

In an op-ed piece in The Australian newspaper on Thursday Frydenberg described small business owners as the “the strivers, the planners and the ambitious ones” with two million small to medium sized enterprises in Australia making up 70 per cent of private sector employment.

The Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM), which is part of Treasury, will administer the fund.

 
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