Unlocking finance support for growers and farmers
15 February 2021 | Minutes to read: 2

Unlocking finance support for growers and farmers

By James Northcote

A year ago, the South Australian agri-sector was facing hot, dry and damaging conditions. Now, it’s managing fruit fly controls, labour shortages and the fallout from the pandemic. This is why every bit of assistance helps.

As an accounting and business advisory firm with a 75-year history of assisting South Australian businesses across the agri-sector, William Buck understands the significant financial and business challenges that face the sector. These include managing cashflow, accessing new debt and refinancing. Below, we unpack an initiative that could help your agribusiness to navigate these challenges; the Regional Investment Corporation’s low interest no fee loans.

Low interest agri loans up to $2 million.

The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is making a number of low interest, no fee loans available:

  • Farm Investment Loans – for growers/farmers in financial need
  • AgriStarter Loan (**new**) – for new growers to the industry, either first time owners or via business succession
  • Drought Loan – for drought affected farmers in need of financial help.

The RIC is a corporate Commonwealth entity established to encourage growth, investment and resilience in Australia’s regional communities. It currently has a $4 billion pool of funding available for eligible applicants.

William Buck has already assisted a number of our clients in applying for this funding and believe it worthy of consideration depending on your circumstances.

The key points of the RIC loans are:

  • Up to $2 million available
  • RIC will lend up to 50% of total term facilities
  • 10-year term (five years interest only, five years principal and interest)
  • Loans are available to refinance or access new debt (to fund business capital or operating expenses)
  • Current rate 1.77%

There is a range of criteria to be eligible for a loan including:

  • Applicants must be farm business owners
  • Applicants must work on, and derive income from, the farm
  • Farm investment loans require supply to interstate/overseas markets
  • Farm investment loans also require the business to have been impacted by events outside their control (e.g. fruit fly, labour shortage)
  • Drought loans require a drought management plan
  • Future cash flow information required to prove long-term viability

Next Step

If this is of interest to you, we’d encourage you to speak with James Northcote from William Buck on 08 8409 4333 who can provide further information and assist throughout the application process. Our team is in direct contact with RIC and able to provide an initial assessment of applications for those where eligibility might be unclear.

Unlocking finance support for growers and farmers

James Northcote

James is a Director in our Business Advisory division. With more than 15 years’ experience, James consults to a range of agribusiness, specialising in viticulture/wineries, horticulture and broadacre farming, and also has significant experience with other small to medium enterprises and medical professionals.

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