Small business loan boost

Non-bank SME lender Prospa is offering small businesses some breathing space as they recover from the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Adrienne Church

The alternative lender is offering eight weeks no repayments on loans approved and settled between October 1 and the end of November.

Prospa said the offer was designed to help businesses "rebuild and recover" from the Covid crisis, and "support cash flow or invest in the future". 

The lender said: "Prospa is urging advisers to support New Zealand’s small business recovery and talk to their clients about alternative funding solutions that might be available beyond the banks. The eight-week no repayments offer on new loans will provide some much-needed extra breathing space for small businesses during this uncertain time, so they can focus on getting back on track."

Prospa says it is seeing "green shoots" in the small business economy, with building and trade, professional services and retail sectors showing strong signs of recovery. 

An improvement in market conditions has resulted in more Kiwi customers being able to resume repayments, the lender said. About 7.7% of customers remain on payment deferrals, it added.

The new offer comes as the Australian-headquartered company pushes for greater market share in New Zealand, with many clients finding it difficult to deal with the main retail banks. 

Prospa's general manager Adrienne Church said: "As an agile fintech, we have the flexibility to respond to changes in the environment and make smart, data-driven lending decisions. We continue to use technology to deliver a better, faster partner and customer experience and are now seeing improved demand for credit.

"Small businesses need their trusted advisers more than ever to navigate these uncertain times, and we encourage our partners to reach out to their small business clients, talk to their BDMs, and run their scenarios by us to see how we can help."

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