Financing export opportunities: Zonte’s Footstep expands with government agency support

Australia’s reputation as a premium producer of wine largely comes down to the success of small wine companies like Zonte’s Footstep. From the vineyards of South Australia’s McLaren Vale, Zonte’s is building on its success in the domestic market through opportunities in global markets including Canada, the UK, USA and Asia.

However financing support for SME businesses can be hard fought – and alternative solutions to banks can be necessary to assist with international expansion.

One of Zonte’s loyal customers, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, recently increased its supply order. A milestone in the company’s export journey, this secured Zonte’s position as the largest imported brand in the Board’s esteemed “vintages” segment.

wineWith increased pressure on its cashflow, long customer repayment terms, and a bank unable to help, Zonte’s needed an alternative source of finance. They turned to the Australis’s export finance agency, Efic, for help.

“The introduction of the Small Business Export Loan (SBEL) has been fantastic for small business exporters like Zonte’s. The ability to do a simple online application that provides the added flexibility of choosing our own terms was brilliant. It was important for us to be able to set the terms around what we felt we were able to deliver, and Efic provided us with the flexibility to do that,” said Anna Fisher, Managing Director at Zonte’s.

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. 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. Efic has given us the confidence to keep moving forward,” explained Fisher.

Efic is Australia’s export credit agency and has loan solutions tailored to the needs of SME businesses. If you’re looking for financing support and want to find out more about Efic’s Small Business Export Loan, please visit www.efic.gov.au/sbel, call Efic on 1800 740 557 or email eficdirect@efic.gov.au

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