Second round of concessional loans now open

The second round of applications under the Farm Finance Concessional Loans Scheme (the scheme) for Western Australia is now open.

Farm Finance is an Australian Government initiative that aims to build the ongoing financial resilience of farm businesses.

In Western Australia, the scheme assists farm businesses that are experiencing some debt servicing difficulties but are considered commercially viable in the longer term, by providing loans to undertake productivity enhancement activities.

The scheme is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by the Rural Business Development Corporation (RBDC) on behalf of the Western Australian Government.

There is $25million in loan funds available for the second and final application round, which runs until 30 April 2015 or earlier if funds are fully committed

The maximum loan amount under this funding round will be double that of the 2013-14 funding round.  Farm businesses will now be able to apply for loans of between $50 000 to $400 000 to enhance their productivity.

An initial concessional interest rate of 4.5 per cent per year has been set by the Australian Government. This rate will be reviewed and revised if necessary by the Australian Government on a six monthly basis in accordance with material changes to the Commonwealth five year bond rate.

There has been a variation to the non-farm assets criteria.  It now allows for the combination of the dollar amount of net non-farm assets and liquid assets to be no more than $821,500, with liquid assets not exceeding $400,000.

Farm businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as completed applications are assessed in order of receipt.

Applicants who received loans up to $200 000 in the first funding round, which closed on 30 April, have already been contacted and advised that they have the option to apply for additional funds.

Please forward this information to your relevant networks. The application form and more details of the scheme for Western Australia are available at the Department of Agriculture and Food website at www.agric.wa.gov.au/rbdc or by contacting the RBDC on 1800 198 231 (free call within Western Australia) or email [email protected].

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