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(Australian Associated Press)
Australian exporters struggling under pressure from coronavirus will get access to business-saving loans through a new $500 million fund.
Loans between $250,000 and $50 million will be available to established and previously profitable exporters unable to gain finance from commercial sources.
The capital facility is designed to help trade-exposed businesses including those in the tourism and education sectors.
Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said coronavirus had created a difficult credit environment, prompting the need for a lifeline to help exporters.
“These are tough times for many trade-exposed businesses who have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis,” he said on Wednesday.
“Rising export costs, disruptions to supply chains and loss of markets are some of the factors that are making it difficult for exporters to access vital commercial finance.”
The loans are expected to help exporters re-establish markets, expand operations and provide working capital support.
“Helping our export sector to get access to business-saving finance is crucial to reducing job losses through this crisis and a critical part of the ultimate economic recovery,” Senator Birmingham said.
Earlier in the month, the federal government announced $170 million help for exporters including $110 million for emergency flights to get high-value farm produce overseas.