Planning a wedding while running a business is challenging at the best of times. Add in the pandemic causing a labour shortage due to New Zealand’s border closures and the pressure is even higher.

This was the situation facing the small business owners of a fruit picking business in January.

As the country started to open up, several of the business’ employees were taking planned leave while others had to isolate due to Covid-19 cases. This staff shortage meant the business was unable to trade at full capacity, while still needing to pay bills, rent and other expenses.

Despite having an existing loan with Prospa, the business owners were looking to source additional funds. Prospa’s Customer Success Account Manager, Matè Borovac, built a relationship with the customer and was familiar with the challenges of the business enough to recommend a solution by topping up the current loan. “We like to keep things simple for our customers,” says Matè. “Instead of applying for a second loan which would mean two lots of repayments, we consolidate it all into the one.”

Matè was also able to help source additional funds on top of what the business owner requested –  by extending the term of the loan with only a slight increase in the repayments. “Because we extended the term, we were able to offer extra funds on top of what was requested,” says Matè. “And keeping the repayment amounts down meant it didn’t impact the business’ cashflow.”

Having gained a solid understanding of the business helped Matè tailor a suitable a solution for their business “I understood why they needed the funds and the impact of the pandemic on the business. This helped me figure out how to structure the loan to reasonably meet the customer’s requirements,” says Matè.

Being honest about the state of your business and why you want funding is essential to get the right outcome when applying for a loan, according to Matè. “This is what we’re going to be presenting to our credit team so we need a detailed reason why you want the funds.”

The business owner was “over the moon” with the extra funds and extended loan term. “The customer was almost in tears, and was so grateful,” says Matè. “The business owners were planning to get married so they had even more on their plate. The extra funds gave them peace of mind knowing they could keep their business operational.”

“When you get those reactions where you have customers on the verge of happy tears it makes you realise you’ve had a genuine impact on these businesses.”

Prospa’s Customer Success Account Managers regularly check in with existing customers, providing updates and assessing if they’re eligible for more funding or promotional offers.

Whether you’re applying for a small business loan for the first time or if you’re an existing customer seeking to refinance, the application process is fast and easy. “You may only spend 10 or 15 minutes on the phone with us and we navigate the rest of the application for you,” says Matè.

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“Even prior to getting an outcome on this latest application, the owner told me they’d be coming back to us when they expand their property, which is currently a secondary source of income,” says Matè. “We genuinely care about providing an outcome for small business owners and it’s why so many of them refinance with us. We know their story so we know how to best help them.”

Seeing the impact Prospa has on small business owners makes Matè’s job worthwhile. “When you get those reactions where you have customers on the verge of happy tears it makes you realise you’ve had a genuine impact on these businesses. It’s not just a drop in the ocean. Each time we’re able to help a small business owner with funds, it’s not only changing their business, but their life.”