EFIC has more than tripled its financial support for Western Australian-based small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) servicing the Australian resources sector since launching its office in Perth last May. The increase in assistance has been achieved during a slowdown in the resources sector and the WA economy, with recent labor force figures showing that the unemployment rate jumped to 5.2 per cent from 3.8 per cent since the beginning of this year. Leela Hanson, EFIC Director, SME & Mid Market and EFIC’s Perth representative, said the increase was a good result and showed that there are still opportunities for WA SMEs supporting exports. EFIC is a government-backed (AAA-rated) provider of financial solutions for eligible Australian exporters and contractors working in the supply chain of projects where the ultimate goods produced are exported from Australia but the contractors are not exporters themselves, such as a company supplying services to an Australian iron ore export project. EFIC works directly with eligible contractors and their banks to provide tailored finance solutions, including working capital and bonding support.