Smaller lenders corner small business loans; Officeworks pens plans for compact stores: Midday Roundup

Small business may get a fairer go with a loan from a smaller lender.

The owner of Radio Rentals and the Thorn Group, John Hughes, yesterday told The Australian the big banks preferred to write loans above $500,000, which allowed finance groups to corner the lower end of the market with loans up to $50,000.

“It’s an area where the banks just find it too small to really spend their time, effort and energy,” said Hughes.

Thorn Group’s financing arm, Thorn Equipment Finance, announced yesterday it had expanded its lease book 37% to $63.6 million.

Officeworks pens plans for smaller stores

Officeworks is preparing to rollout a small-store format to get a piece of the $30 billion office products pie in CBD and inner-city areas.

The company is one of Australia’s first big-box retailers, but has spent more than a year testing the small-format model and refining the product range.

The new stores will be between 400 and 600 square metres, less than half the size of an average 1400 square metre big-box store.

Shares down on open

The local sharemarket is down again this morning, following a drop in US markets overnight.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 29.6 points to 5390.8 points at 12.15pm AEST. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones closed 137.55 points lower, down 0.83% to 16374.3 points.

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