With Australia suffering through one of its worst droughts in history, the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) has announced a new loan product to supply small businesses with $500,000.

This drought loan package is aimed at small businesses who are within the drought-affected area and are supplying primary producers with goods or services. Some examples of business areas they specifically mention include harvesting and fencing contractors, carriers, stock and station agents and other businesses dealing in agricultural equipment and repairs.

Eligibility

• Your business has less than 20 employees
• Your business is not a farm business, however, a substantial part of your turnover comes from supplying goods and services to a farm business that is in a drought-affected area.
• Due to the drought, there has been an evident reduction in the turnover as a result of the business; or
• As a result of the drought, there has been a significant increase in unsecured debt to your business.

Loan terms

Maximum that can be borrowed

The business can borrow up to $500,000, however, at least 50% of the debt must remain with a commercial lender, for example, your bank or finance company.

Term and Repayments

The loan is to be repaid within 10 years as shown below:
• The first 2 years being interest-free with no repayments required;
• Followed by 3 years interest only; and
• Lastly, the final 5 years being principal and interest.
There will be no facility on the loan to redraw additional payments back.

Fees and Interest Rate

There will be no fees for application, early settlement or if you are able to make additional repayments.

The variable interest rate is currently 3.11% and will be reviewed and updated on 1 February and/or 1 August each year.

Security

Should you be successful in obtaining this finance, RIC will require enough security such as a registered mortgage over land or other assets. They will consider each loan application security options on a case-by-case basis and where applicable will negotiate their order in security with commercial lenders and the applicant.

Review

Should your application be successful, RIC will conduct an annual review with you to ensure that the business is on track to be able to repay the debt within the 10-year window.

If you believe your business would suit these criteria and benefit from a maximum of $500,000 cash injection, please contact PJT Accountants and Business Advisors in Sunshine Coast on 07 5413 9300 or you can email us at enquiry@pjtaccountants.com.au

If you also are interested in helping our fellow Australian regarding the bushfire incident then you can visit our this blog to donate to the Queensland Rural Fire Service to help our brave firefighter men and women.