Accountants, brokers and financial advisers now have a new tool to help their small business clients find the right funding and get their applications approved.

The Business Funding Guide, which has been developed by the small business ombudsman and Scottish Pacific Business Finance, is aimed at finance professionals because of the role they play in helping small businesses with financial decisions.

There is also a companion guide, the Essential Guide to Business Funding, which provides advice to small business owners about finance options and the application process.

Finance is the biggest barrier to the growth of small businesses, according to Australia’s small business ombudsman, Kate Carnell.

“Small businesses are particularly feeling the brunt of the credit crunch, as lenders tighten their requirements in the wake of the banking Royal Commission,” she said.

“About a third of small business owners have had their applications for bank loans rejected. Historically 83% of small businesses have relied on major banks for their funding requirements, but that is changing.

“Many more have not bothered to apply as they have been told that unless they have significant equity in real estate their application will fail.”

Ms Carnell said it is vital that small businesses understand the range of lenders and loans available to them.