Australian Gov

Show Starter Loan Scheme

The Show Starter Loan Scheme is a $90 million loan initiative designed to help creative economy businesses access financing for new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity.

The Scheme is part of the Government's $250 million COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package and is being delivered through the $40 billion Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme. It provides tailored support to arts and entertainment businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic. The Show Starter Loan Scheme is backed by a 100% Government guarantee, which will enhance the ability of participating lenders to provide credit.

Under the Scheme, eligible Australian creative economy businesses will be able to apply for loans of up to 50 per cent of the total budget for an activity (or up to $5 million, whichever is the lesser amount) to support the delivery of new arts and entertainment productions or events. Loan terms are for up to five years.

The application process

There is a two-step process for accessing the Show Starter Loan Scheme:

  • Pre-screening process (assessment of eligibility)
    Submit an Intention to Borrow application through the SmartyGrants online portal. The Office for the Arts will then assess the eligibility of your application. If your Intention to Borrow application is assessed as eligible, you will receive a Notice of Eligibility, which you will need to provide to a participating lender.
  • Applying for a loan
    If your submission is assessed as eligible, you can provide a copy of your Notice of Eligibility to a participating lender. This demonstrates to the lender that you meet the Scheme's eligibility criteria. The Notice of Eligibility does not constitute loan approval.
    You will need to apply for your loan through a participating lender, who will then follow standard lending processes, including a credit assessment.


You will need to provide the following documentation as part of your Intention to Borrow submission:

  • Financial statement for 2018–19, certified by your Chief Financial Officer, Board or registered Chartered Accountant.
  • Financial statement for 2019–20 and/or Part year income and expenditure relevant for 2020–21 with forecast for the rest of the year, certified by your Chief Financial Officer, Board or registered Chartered Accountant.

Further information about your entity and proposed activity is also required to be submitted in the Intention to Borrow form.

Application resources

For further information on the Scheme, access the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document attached below.

To submit an Intention to Borrow application, visit the SmartyGrants online portal.

You can also access the Show Starter Loan Scheme Rules through SmartyGrants.

Participating lenders

The following lenders are participating under this Scheme:

  • ANZ
  • Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  • National Australia Bank Limited
  • Westpac Banking Corporation.

If your submission is assessed as eligible, you can provide a copy of your Notice of Eligibility to one of these participating lenders. The participating lenders will then follow their standard lending process, including credit assessment. Please contact the participating lenders directly in relation to what loan products they are offering under the Scheme.

Information about other banks providing loans under the Scheme will be published here when available.

COVID-19 update

Up-to-date information about COVID-19 and how it relates to the arts sector can be found on the COVID-19 update page.


If you have any questions or need further information, please email the Show Starter Loan Scheme at

Applications close
16 Jun 2021
Amount Upon Application
All artforms
Grant Type
New work
Applicant Type
Australian Gov (opens in new window)
Australian Gov