The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) approved a record $115 million in loans for drought affected farmers and farm-related small businesses in April 2020 as the agriculture sector continues to benefit from the RIC’s affordable finance options.
RIC Chief Executive Officer Bruce King said that the record $115 million in loan approvals demonstrates that additional resources and process improvements are working to approve more loans than ever, while acknowledging there is more work to do with loan demand continuing to soar.
“It’s really pleasing to approve more loans in one month than we ever have before, particularly as it was originally anticipated when the RIC was established that we’d receive between 300 – 500 loan applications for the whole year.
“The demand certainly demonstrates the value farmers and farm-related small businesses see in our affordable drought loan terms,” said Mr King.
“Our application volumes are soaring with farmers sending as many applications in a month as we were initially set up to receive in a year, so we know there is more work to do to speed up the loan process, and that is what we're focused on.
“Despite the loan demand, we’re working as quickly as possible with customers so they can understand where their loan is at within our loan process. We are also working closely with the government on the RIC’s future loan funding and resourcing needs to meet the demand for RIC loans.”
The RIC provides affordable loans for farmers with its Drought loan and farm-related small businesses with its AgBiz Drought loan, both loans have two years’ interest free, three years’ interest only then five years’ principal and interest over a 10-year term.
The loans are designed to provide financial relief, particularly for refinancing existing debt and benefiting from the no interest payment period to assist the agriculture sector with preparing for, managing through and recovering from drought.
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About the Regional Investment Corporation
The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is a Government-backed specialist finance provider for farmers and farm-related small businesses. For the financial year to 30 April 2020, the RIC had approved nearly 500 loans valued at over $550 million. Since its inception on 1 July 2018, the RIC had approved approximately $669 million in loans as at 30 April 2020. For more see ric.gov.au.