Federal Nationals Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the establishment of the Australian Business Growth Fund is about backing small businesses in the regions.

Mr McCormack said small businesses were the engine room of the economy right across regional NSW.

“When regional small businesses are strong, so too is our nation,” Mr McCormack said. “The Australian Business Growth fund is The Nationals’ plan to back small business – it recognises the hard work and risk that owners take when they start up and I want to do everything I can to ensure small enterprises thrive.”

In Mr McCormack’s electorate of Riverina, there are about 18,000 small businesses which will benefit from The Nationals’ decision to cut taxes and they will be able to take advantage of the increase to the popular instant asset write-off for machinery and equipment up to a value of $30,000.

The new Australian Business Growth Fund will be established with $100 million seed funding and look to partner with financial institutions to provide equity to small businesses. The aim is for the fund to expand to $1 billion as it matures.

“We are making it easier for small businesses to get access to credit when they need it.”

Many small businesses find it difficult to attract passive equity investment which enables them to grow without taking on taking additional debt or giving up control of their business. The fund will focus on backing 30 to 50 businesses each year with turnovers between $2m and $50m.

“Backing small business in the regions, including farms, is part of our plan for a stronger economy to help them reach their potential and create even more jobs into the future,” Mr McCormack said. “In my time as Small Business Minister, I was proud to have taken action to cut red tape and reduce payment terms for Government contracts up to $1 million.”