Growth in our regional communities means growth for our economy as a whole. In tough times, it’s more than just the dams that dry up. Backed by the Australian Government, the Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) offers a financial lifeline to farmers struggling to stay afloat.
When resources are scarce, RIC loans provide affordable finance for farmers and small business owners to improve their productivity, profitability and ongoing financial resilience. While these are not quick-fix grants, they do help eligible farm businesses return to viability and continue contributing to the industry in a meaningful way.
RIC loans are available country-wide, providing a consistent approach to applying for and managing a loan. Unfortunately, these loans don’t come about overnight, but applicants can rest easy knowing that measures are in place to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible.
When the RIC launched in July 2018, they expected to receive no more than 500 applications per year. At present, the RIC receives more than half that number a single month, and the unprecedented events of 2020 have raised the demand even higher.
To meet this growing demand and continue to support struggling farm businesses around Australia, the RIC has expanded its team and wound back some of the red tape that prohibits the efficiency of the process.
With an additional 16 Orange-based credit assessors and loan administrators, as well as a further 38 online assessors working remotely from every corner of the country, the RIC is making it their priority to ensure customer service never slips, despite the pressure.
Behind every loan application is a farmer or business owner vying to keep their livelihood afloat. These personal struggles require a personal response, which is why the RIC has been diverting resources wherever possible to assist with aiding individuals through the process.
The RIC has identified additional resources and channeled them to assist with customer relations, so applicants are never stuck on hold for hours on end, or worse, caught in a one-way conversation with a pre-recorded messaging system.
Some elements of the application process cannot be sacrificed in the name of efficiency, however, the hoops that applicants previously had to jump through have been lowered or removed altogether.