Small and medium businesses have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and national finance business Scottish Pacific has been there to help the sector.
ScotPac is Australia and New Zealand’s largest non-bank lender to SMEs providing asset-based lending with a focus toward invoice financing solutions. Having been around for over 30 years ScotPac has helped clients get through tough times and recession before.
“One of the first COVID-19 initiatives ScotPac took was to make sure clients knew that we are all in this together,” according to Marcus Shaw, ScotPac’s Business Development Manager for Queensland and the Northern Territory.
“We knew there’d be hardship considerations. We set up a dedicated form and email inbox for our clients to contact us about payment deferrals and special circumstances that needed to be considered around their regular payments,” Marcus said.
“This gave our client base a point to express challenges being faced and seek leniency on repayments if needed. Of course, we work closely with our clients and they always know they can pick up the phone and talk to us about changed circumstances.
“What the specialised inbox acknowledged was that many business owners would be working all hours of the day and night to keep things functioning, so they could alert us by email at a time that suited them.”
ScotPac set up a COVID-19 information hub and encouraged clients to learn about and take advantage of any suitable ATO deferments, rent reductions, JobKeeper and government grants on offer.
“These initiatives have helped many businesses hibernate or trade through the tough times. ScotPac also launched Cash Connector, which provides SMEs funds secured by the invoices they have issued to clients. We have 24-hour approvals and access to funds within 48 hours, no lock-in contracts and the ability to connect to the client’s accounting package for quick and easy access to funds.”
Another ScotPac initiative has been to extend the Employee Assistance Program.
“We have a program that provides counselling and guidance to staff in need. Given the devastating effect COVID-19 had on so many businesses, we extended this program to clients and their immediate families to help provide additional support. This allowed ScotPac clients to access up to six video or phone counselling sessions, paid for by ScotPac,” Marcus said.
ScotPac has also worked with the Small Business Ombudsman (ASBFEO) to create a handy free resource for business owners and their accountants and brokers, the Business Funding Guide, outlining all the major SME funding options and what scenarios they suit.
Scottish Pacific is Australia and New Zealand’s largest non-bank SME lender, helping thousands of business owners with the working capital they need to succeed. ScotPac lends to small, medium and large businesses from start-ups to enterprises with revenues of more than $1 billion. www.scottishpacific.com