Commonwealth Bank (CBA) has today welcomed the Government’s expanded SME Recovery Loan Scheme (SMERLS) and is encouraging Australian businesses to take advantage of the support measures currently available through both bank and government initiatives.

The expansion of funding through SMERLS means that any business with annual turnover of less than $250m which has been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic is eligible to borrow up to $5 million for up to 10 years at record low rates. Borrowers can also benefit from repayment holidays on eligible products. 

CBA’s Group Executive Business Banking Mike Vacy-Lyle said: “The impacts of the pandemic are widespread and diverse across businesses and industry sectors. Many require access to credit to help them through this period, and the expansion of SMERLS is an excellent initiative to ensure that more businesses will be able to access business lending at low rates and on flexible terms.

“At CBA we are firmly committed to supporting the SME sector, which is so vital to Australia’s economic recovery. We funded more than half of all the loans issued under the first phase of the scheme, and we plan to play a leading role in the expanded SME Recovery Loan scheme.

“Over the past month, we have connected with more than one million small to medium sized business customers to alert them to the support we have available such as fee refunds or waivers, repayment deferrals, and bridging finance. Customers are telling us their key concerns continue to be about cash flow management, managing suppliers, and keeping staff employed. We know the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 restrictions can be difficult to navigate, and we encourage our business customers to contact us to see how we can help,” said Mr Vacy-Lyle.

Throughout the current lockdown, CBA has delivered a free webinar series for businesses, providing economic updates from CBA Chief Economist Stephen Halmarick and outlining the support available through CBA and the government, and responding to customer questions.

“We have been working collaboratively with state governments so businesses can hear first-hand about government support and how to access it. This is something businesses have found valuable and we’re continuing the host webinars to provide businesses with localised insights on the potential impacts and how we can assist them,” said Mr Vacy-Lyle.

Business customers, both new and existing, can now apply for a SME Recovery Loan for their term debt, working capital, and asset finance needs on CBA’s website at commbank.com.au/sme-recovery, call their Relationship Manager or our 24/7 Australian-based business banking contact centre on 13 19 98.  

For more information on the CBA business support measures visit: www.commbank.com.au/coronavirus or call 1800 314 695.

For eligible customers, the support for small and medium sized businesses includes:

  • Repayment deferrals on business loans;
  • A refund of merchant terminal fees for up to 90 days for customers;
  • A waiving of fees and notice periods on Cash Deposit and Farm Management Deposit accounts;
  • CBA loans provided through the Federal Government-backed SME Loan Recovery Scheme
  • This offers eligible businesses loans up to $5 million with variable interest rates from as low as 2.6% p.a. for secured loans, and from 2.85% p.a. for secured loans with a repayment holiday from 12 months.
  • Unsecured loans are available with rates from 3.25% p.a., and from 3.75% p.a. with a repayment holiday from 12 months;
  • Access to a range of tailored grants and benefits specific for businesses;
  • An easy-to-use Financial Support Guide to help businesses, community groups and individuals understand the options available and range of initiatives already announced by government and Commonwealth Bank;
  • Free counselling services; and
  • Free mental health webinars facilitated by Smiling Mind. 

Disclaimer: Rates current at 25 August 2021, and are subject to change. For current interest rates visit, Business banking rates and fees. For more information on the SME Recovery Loan Scheme visit, Coronavirus business support