The Australian wine industry is experiencing increasing demand from the Chinese market, presenting wonderful opportunities for small wine companies to grow their exports.
However, pressure on cashflow, long customer repayment terms and securing export finance are some of the barriers smaller wineries can face when exporting. Efic’s new Small Business Export Loan is designed to help small businesses overcome these export challenges by providing finance for a single export contract when your bank is unable help.
Zonte’s Footstep is a wine brand working out of McLaren Vale. Established in 2003, it works with a number of local wine brands sharing back office, production and export resources. Since 2009, Zonte’s Footstep has increased its sales five-fold and is now exporting to Canada, Sweden, the US, UK and Singapore.
Since 2011, Zonte’s Footstep has developed a strong relationship with the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO), which this year significantly increased its order, making Zonte’s the second largest imported brand in the LCBO ‘vintage’ segment.
Zonte’s bank was unable to provide the financial support it needed to deliver on the contract. Efic stepped in to help.
“The introduction of the Small Business Export Loan (SBEL) has been fantastic for small business exporters like Zonte’s,” said Anna Fisher, managing director of Zonte’s Footstep.
“The ability to do a simple online application that provides the added flexibility of choosing our own repayment term was brilliant. It was important for us to be able to set the term around what we felt we were able to deliver, and Efic provided us with the flexibility to do that.”
The SBEL gives growing export businesses the opportunity to tailor loan repayment terms for unsecured loans, which can be as little as $50,000 to $250,000. The online application is quick and simple, with funds available in as little as nine business days.
“We received a $250,000 loan with a 12-month repayment term,” Anna said.
“It really helped us manage our working capital. If we hadn’t gotten the funding from Efic, it would have been extremely difficult to fulfil our orders. They have given us the confidence to keep moving forward.”