IBN Private’s Managing Director Scott Roberts says small-to-medium enterprises are the economic heartbeat of our nation – and they are hurting. 

Rising interest rates are putting a squeeze on SMEs, particularly those whose business loans are now coming off a period of cheap money. Add surging inflation to the cost of doing business and there’s a world of financial pain. 

“When SMEs struggle, Australia struggles. The sector employs 70 per cent of the workforce and making up 99.8 per cent of all Australian businesses,’’ Scott says. 

“At IBN Private we’ve noticed an increase in enquiries from the sector since the start of 2023, essentially due to servicing and policy issues with the traditional banks making it hard for SMEs to get the finance they need. 

“But by far the majority of SMEs who are coming to us are optimistic with many wanting to push on with their plans to grow.’’ 

“It doesn’t seem that long ago some lenders were offering introductory rates in the high 1 per cent and the Federal Government was incentivising banks to free the purse strings for small business lending. All that changed quickly. 

“A lot of SMEs have struggled or collapsed in the past few years and just as the economic recovery was in full swing, they were hit with soaring interest rates, record cost of living, geopolitical disruption of supply chains and recession talks.  

“Now is the time for small business to find a good partner in finance.’’  

Here’s Scott’s top questions SMEs and brokers should ask a private lender: 

  • How long have they been in business? 
  • What is their experience? It must be relevant to what you are trying to achieve.  
  • What loan options are available outside traditional banking?  
  • What is their view of the state of the economy and what the future holds?  


“Most SMEs, no matter how big or small, are trying to create a legacy,’’ Scott says.  

“When choosing a lender you need to ask yourself, if you only had 365 days to live, is the person sitting opposite you the one you want to spend the next year with, helping to create your legacy?’’ 

Celebrating 20 years in 2023, IBN Private is Australia’s most experienced private lender with access to hundreds of private funding options. Call 1300 668 551 for a free, no-obligation quote.