The Australian government will ramp up support for small businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic, offering guaranteed loans of up to A$1 million to about 3.5 million firms.
Announcing the extended support package on Monday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said it would ensure credit continued to flow through the economy. The cap on the loan guarantee will be lifted from A$250,000, with the maximum term extended by two years to five.
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The announcement comes as the government prepares to deliver an economic and fiscal update later this week, amid a second wave of infections in the nation.
Under the existing loan guarantee program, more than 15,600 businesses have accepted loans worth a total of A$1.5 billion. The scheme will be available until the end of June 2021.
Frydenberg told Sky News the government would also offer another phase of income support after the flagship Jobkeeper package is due to expire at the end of September. The program will be extended until Christmas, at a reduced rate of about A$1,000 every two weeks, with a tighter eligibility test, News.com.au reported, without citing sources.
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