Victorian Government Business Support Fund – Expansion

Due to the latest Stage 3 and Stage 4 Restrictions in Victoria, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program.

What support is available?

  • $5,000 for employing businesses in regional areas except Mitchell Shire
  • $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

What eligibility criteria does a business need to me to apply?

  • operate a business located within Victoria; and
  • be a participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme; and
  • employ people; and
  • be registered with WorkSafe on 30 June 2020; and
  • have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis; and
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) as at 30 June 2020; and
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020; and
  • be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

How can the funding be used?

  • meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries or rent
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities
  • any other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Some important points:

  • Businesses that have received funding from other components of the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package are eligible to apply for this program.
  • Business owners that do not employ people (non-employing businesses) are not eligible for funding through this program.
  • Employing businesses must provide their WorkCover Employer Number in the application form for verification.
  • If you have already applied for the Extension package before the further $5,000 was announced due to Stage 4 restrictions, there is no need to apply again. This extra $5,000 will be credited to you.

As usual, if you have any further questions or require us to apply for this support fund on your behalf please feel free to contact us.

Click here for Application Page – Applications close 14 September 2020

Business Support Fund Expansion Guidelines

JobKeeper Extension

Many would agree that JobKeeper has been a lifeline for many businesses through the COVID19 Pandemic.

The current JobKeeper program is due to come to an end on 27 September 2020 and with the crisis continuing and further lockdowns in Victoria, the Federal Government announced an extension to JobKeeper out to 28 March 2021.

Please note that none of the changes below have passed through parliament at the time of this article being written. Further updates will be provided, if any, once these changes have passed through parliament.

What has changed with Business Eligibility?

From 28 September 2020, all businesses and not-for-profits will need to re-assess their eligibility to be eligible from 28 September to 3 January 2021 and then re-assess again to be eligible from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

Eligibility will be assessed as follows:

 JobKeeper Extension period 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021:

  • Eligibility re-assessment based on Actual Turnover during the September 2020 quarter (1 July 2020 to 30 September 2020)

JobKeeper Extension period 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021:

  • Further Eligibility re-assessment based on Actual Turnover during the December 2020 quarter (1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020)

Alternative tests are yet to be released for businesses and not-for-profits who don’t have a suitable comparison period to assess decline in turnover

What has changed with Employee Eligibility and payment rates?

  • The reference date for assessing which employees are eligible for the JobKeeper Payment is now 1 July 2020 with effect from 3 August 2020.
  • From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, the payment rates will be the following:
    • $1,200 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weekly pay periods before the reference period, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week
    • $750 per fortnight for employees who were working in the business or not-for-profit for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business less than 20 hours per week in the reference period.
  • From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, the payment rates will be the following:
    • $1,000 per fortnight for all eligible employees who, in the four weekly pay periods before the reference period, were working in the business or not-for-profit for 20 hours or more a week on average and for business participants who were actively engaged in the business for more than 20 hours per week
    • $650 per fortnight for employees who were working in the business or not-for-profit for less than 20 hours a week on average and business participants who were actively engaged in the business less than 20 hours per week in the reference period.
  • The reference period for employees regarding their hours worked to determine their tier of payment will be the two fortnightly pay periods prior to 1 March 2020 or 1 July 2020. The period with the higher number of hours is to be used for employees who were eligible at 1 March 2020.

Please note that the current JobKeeper program continues to run until 27 September 2020 and if you have not enrolled in the program, however feel that your income is declining due to the Stage 4 lockdowns in Victoria or if you have any further questions in relation to the JobKeeper Extension please feel free to contact us for assistance.

Fact Sheet – JobKeeper Payment Extension

JobKeeper – Further Information

Most people who have already registered their interest in the JobKeeper payment would have received over the past few days, further information from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
 

The ATO has released a large amount of information and further detail relating to the JobKeeper Payment on their website. The three areas that we will focus on are:

  • Employer Eligibility Criteria
  • Employee Eligibility Criteria
  • Enrolling in the JobKeeper Payment (from 20 April)

Most of the information below is taken directly from the ATO website and is accurate at the time of this article being published. For further information please visit the ATO JobKeeper web page.

Before we go into the three points above, below are some key points on the JobKeeper payments:

  1. If you are a business expecting a JobKeeper payment for the month of April you should already be paying your employees $1,500 per fortnight. You must ensure that your business is eligible first.
  2. For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), the ATO will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April. This means that you can make two fortnightly payments of at least $1,500 per fortnight before the end of April, or a combined payment of at least $3,000 before the end of April
  3. Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
  4. Ensure your payroll system has the appropriate pay codes and descriptions setup to make the payments. You will need to contact your Software provider to clarify this.
  5. Determine your businesses eligibility and ensure you have adequate documentation to prove that you are eligible and your fall in turnover is due to COVID-19.
  6. Pay your employees the correct amount and in accordance with the JobKeeper fortnights. Please contact us if you require further information about how and when to pay.
  7. Sole Traders and Business Owners who are not employees but actively involved in their business are also eligible. We will provide further information soon about the eligibility.

Employer Eligibility Criteria

Employers will be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if all of the following apply:

  • On 1 March 2020, you carried on a business in Australia or were a not-for-profit organisation that pursued your objectives principally in Australia.
  • You employed at least one eligible employee on 1 March 2020.
  • Your eligible employees are currently employed by your business for the fortnights you claim for (including those who are stood down or re-hired).
  • Your business has faced a
    • 30% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or less)
    • 50% fall in turnover (for an aggregated turnover of more than $1 billion), or
    • 15% fall in turnover (for ACNC-registered charities other than universities and schools).
  • Your business is not in one of the ineligible categories.

Most Businesses will be subject to the 30% decline in turnover test to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

To work out your fall in turnover, you can compare either:

  • GST turnover for March 2020 with GST turnover for March 2019;
  • projected GST turnover for April 2020 with GST turnover for April 2019;
  • projected GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2020 with GST turnover for the quarter starting April 2019.

If your business does not qualify now, it may qualify in the future so it is important to monitor your trading and projections regularly.

If your business does not have a comparable period, for example because your business is newly established, the Commissioner of Taxation will have discretion to set “Alternative Tests”. Further information on the alternative tests is not yet available and will be released by the ATO in due course.

Please note that the ATO have advised that they will be expecting you to have strong records to prove that your business meets the eligibility criteria. If you are audited in the future and can not prove your eligibility, penalties will apply and there may be a requirement to repay the JobKeeper payments back to the ATO.

Employee Eligibility Criteria

You are an eligible employee if you:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including if you were stood down or re-hired).
  • were for the eligible employer (or another entity in their wholly owned group), either a
    • permanent full-time or part-time employee at 1 March 2020
    • long-term casual employee (employed on a regular and systematic basis for at least 12 months) as at 1 March 2020 and not a permanent employee of any other employer.
  • were aged 16 years or older at 1 March 2020.
  • were either
    • an Australian resident (within the meaning of the Social Security Act 1991) – visit the Services Australia website and read residence descriptions for more details
    • an Australian resident for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and the holder of a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa as at 1 March 2020.
  • were not in receipt of any of these payments during the JobKeeper fortnight
    • government parental leave or Dad and partner pay under the Paid Parental Leave Act 2010
    • a payment in accordance with Australian worker compensation law for an individual’s total incapacity for work.

If you started work with your current employer after 1 March 2020, your employer will not be eligible to claim the JobKeeper payment on your behalf.

Enrolling in the JobKeeper Payment (from 20 April 2020)

You or a registered tax professional can enrol for the JobKeeper payment:

  • Step 1 – Register your interest and subscribe for JobKeeper payment updates.
  • Step 2 – Check you and your employees meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Step 3 – Continue to pay at least $1,500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April).
  • Step 4 – Notify your eligible employees that you are intending to claim the JobKeeper payment on their behalf and check they aren’t claiming JobKeeper payment through another employer or have nominated through another business.
  • Step 5 – Send the JobKeeper employee nomination notice to your nominated employees to complete and return to you by the end of April if you plan to claim JobKeeper payment for April. Keep it on file and provide a copy to your registered tax agent if you are using one.
  • Step 6 – From 20 April 2020, you can enrol with us for the JobKeeper payment using the Business Portal and authenticate with myGovID. You must do this by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for April.
  • Step 7 – In the online form, provide your bank details and indicate if you are claiming an entitlement based on business participation, for example if you are a sole trader.
  • Step 8 – Specify the estimated number of employees who will be eligible for the first JobKeeper fortnight (30 March – 12 April) and the second JobKeeper fortnight (13 April – 26 April).

If you prefer to engage our office to administer the JobKeeper program on your behalf with the ATO please click here and opt-in. We will then contact you with further information.

 

Home Office Tax Deductions (Shortcut Method)

On 7 April 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced a temporary short cut method for claiming home office expenses.

This temporary measure makes it easier for individual tax payers to claim deductions for additional running expenses in this time of working from home due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

The ATO will allow an individual to claim a deduction for all running expenses during the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020 at a rate of 80 cents for each hour that an individual conducts genuine work duties from home.

Who is eligible to claim this shortcut method?

You can claim a deduction of 80 cents for each hour you work from home due to COVID-19 as long as you are:

  • working from home to fulfil your employment duties and not just carrying out minimal tasks such as occasionally checking emails or taking calls,
  • incurring additional deductible running expenses as a result of working from home.

How does it work?

The 80 cents per hour covers all deductible running expenses associated with working from home in the period 1 March 2020 to 30 June 2020.

The expenses included in the 80 cents per hour are the following:

  • electricity for lighting, cooling or heating and running electronic items used for work (for example your computer), and gas heating expenses
  • the decline in value and repair of capital items, such as home office furniture and furnishings
  • cleaning expenses
  • your phone costs, including the decline in value of the handset
  • your internet costs
  • computer consumables, such as printer ink
  • stationery
  • the decline in value of a computer, laptop or similar device.

This means that you can not claim a separate tax deduction for any of the above expenses while claiming the 80 cents per hour. Given this, in some cases, claiming the 80 cents per hour may result in a lower deduction than the existing home office arrangements.

What’s the difference between the shortcut method (80 cents per hour) and the existing method (52 cents per hour)?

The key differences are displayed in the table below. You will notice that the main differences are in the requirements around record keeping. The Shortcut method requires you to keep less records however you can not claim any other separate expenses:

Shortcut Method (80 cents p/h)Existing Method (52 cents p/h)
Can separately claim
– phone and internet expenses
– computer consumables and stationery
– decline in value on computers or other equipment.
NoYes
RECORDS TO KEEP


keep a record of the hours you worked at home, for example timesheets or diary notesYesNo
diary entries for a representative four-week period to show your usual pattern of working at home that show
– you worked from home and made work
– related phone calls how you work out how much you used your equipment, home office and phone for work purposes over a representative four-week period
NoYes
receipts or other written evidence, including for depreciating assets you have purchasedNoYes
diary entries to record your small expenses ($10 or less) totalling no more than $200, or expenses for which you can’t get any kind of evidenceNoYes
itemised phone and internet accounts (paper or electronic) from where you can identify work-related calls and internet use, or other written records, such as diary entries if you don’t get an itemised bill.NoYes

Can I choose which method to use?

Yes, home running expenses incurred prior to 1 March 2020 must use the existing method (52 cents per hour) however after 1 March 2020, the individual can choose to use the shortcut method (80 cents per hour) or the existing method.

If you have would like to discuss any of the above further please do not hesitate to contact us 1300 978 320.

Victorian Government Business Support Fund

Further to the Federal Government Stimulus packages, the Victorian Government has launched a $500 million Business Support Fund.

This fund has been setup to help small businesses survive the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and to also keep people in a job.

The potential value of the grant is $10,000 per business and will be allocated through a grant process.

The following information has been taken from the Business Support Fund Application page where you can begin the application process. If you would like further information or would like assistance with applying for this grant please feel free to contact us.

Who is Eligible?

You are an eligible business if you meet the following criteria:

How can the funding be used?

Examples of what the grant funding could be used for include:

  • Meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries, rent
  • Seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • Developing the business through marketing and communications activities
  • Other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

What evidence of eligibility and compliance is required?

  • Applicants will be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives and will be required to produce evidence, such as payroll reports to demonstrate impact, at the request of the Victorian Government for a period of four years after the grant has been approved.
  • If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or grants are not applied for the purposes stated in the terms of funding and application, the grant will be repayable on demand.

JobKeeper Payment Explained

The Government announced yesterday a JobKeeper Payment for businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. This payment is a subsidy provided by the Federal Government that affected businesses can access to give them the ability to continue paying their employees. This payment will also be made available to the self-employed.

An Eligible business will be provided with $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for up to 6 months.

This subsidy will start on 30 March 2020.

Who is an Eligible Employer?

  • Turnover less than $1 billion and turnover has reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago
  • Turnover more than $1 billion and turnover has reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago
  • Employer is in an employment relationship with an eligible employee as at 1 March 2020 and the employee is currently engaged
  • Not-for-profit or self-employed/sole trader who meet the above turnover test

Who is an Eligible Employee?

  • Currently employed by the eligible employer (including stood down or re-hired)
  • Employed by the employer at 1 March 2020
  • Full-time, part-time or a long-term casual (a casual employed on a regular basis for more than 12 months)
  • 16 years of age or older
  • An Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder
  • Not receiving the JobKeeper payment from another employer

How will it be paid?

  • $1,500 will be paid directly to the Eligible Employer for each Eligible Employee per fortnight.
  • The payments will be made to the employer monthly in arrears by the ATO
  • The Payment is before tax and employers can top up the payment if they wish to do so
  • Employees will be paid in the following manner:
    • For an employee who usually receives $1,500 or more in income per fortnight before tax, they will continue to receive their regular income according to their current workplace arrangements. The JobKeeper Payment will assist their employer to continue operating by subsidising all or part of the income of their employees.
    • For an employee who usually receives less than $1,500 in income per fortnight before tax, their employer must pay their employee a minimum $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
    • For employees who have been stood down, their employer must pay their employee a minimum $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.
    • For employees who were employed on 1 March 2020, then ceased employment with their employer, and then been re-engaged by the same eligible employer, the employee will receive a minimum $1,500 per fortnight, before tax.

When will the first payments be paid by the ATO?

First payments will be paid to eligible employers by the ATO in the first week of May.

How does a business apply?

Businesses with employees can register their interest in the JobKeeper Payment from 30 March 2020 by following the below register link below.

Eligible employers who register will be able to apply for the subsidy via an online application and will need to identify the employees eligible for the JobKeeper payments.

Businesses without employees (self-employed/sole traders) can register their interest in the JobKeeper Payment from 30 March 2020 by also following the below register link.

Eligible businesses without employees who register will be able to apply online and will need to provide their ABN, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration of their recent business activity.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST IN JOBKEEPER

As usual please feel free to contact us to discuss your individual situation and for further advice on the above.

Federal Government Stimulus Package Fact Sheets

Please see the fact sheets below. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all and please ensure you speak to your Accountant or Financial Advisor before acting on any of the below:

Cash flow assistance for businesses

Delivering support for business investment

Supporting the flow of credit

Income Support for Individuals

Providing temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

Providing support for retirees to manage market volatility

Payments to support households

Early Access to Super

Info for Employers (JobKeeper Payment)

Fact sheet – Info for Employers (JobKeeper) Updated 1 April 2020

JobKeeper FAQ

Fact sheet – JobKeeper Payment extension

Business Support Fund Expansion Guidelines

 

Key Points from the Second Government Stimulus Package and Victorian Government Survival Package

On Sunday 22 March the Government released a second stimulus package to help individuals and business get through the Coronavirus crisis. As per the previous stimulus package announcement, more information is coming to hand as we write this but these are the key points we know so far.

CASH AND LOAN SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Eligibility:

At this stage we are not aware of the eligibility being any different to the announcement of the first stimulus a week ago being, companies including not-for-profits with annual turnover of up to $50m and paid wages between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.

Timing and how will payments be made:

The payments will be made through the ATO system and paid directly into the bank account you have registered with the ATO. These payments will be linked to the Pay As You Go (PAYG) Withheld reported in your BAS starting from the lodgement of your March 2020 BAS.

Payment amounts:

There is an increase in the payment amount offered in the first stimulus being:

  • 100% of PAYG Withheld from employee wages (up from 50%)
  • Minimum payment available to employers is now $20,000 (up from $2,000) with $10,000 being paid in the April to June 2020 period (lodgment of  of March 2020 BAS) and $10,000 being paid in the July to October 2020 period (lodgement of June and September 2020 BAS)
  • Maximum payment available to employers is now $100,000 (up from $25,000) with $50,000 being paid in the April to June 2020 period (lodgment of  of March 2020 BAS) and $50,000 being paid in the July to October 2020 period (lodgement of June and September 2020 BAS)
  • The ATO will make these payment by way of a credit to your Business Activity Statements

GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED LOANS

  • Federal Government is offering businesses unsecured loans of up to $250,000 for a term of up to three years through your lender.
  • Loans will be repayment free for six months and 50% guaranteed by the government.

INSOLVENCY MEASURES BEING RELAXED

  • The outstanding amounts limits will be increased from $2,000 to $20,000
  • Timing to respond will be six months instead of 21 days.
  • Relief for Directors over the next six months whilst trading insolvent

ASSISTANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS

  • A range of extra payments available including an extra $750 for Jobseeker allowance on top of the $750 originally offered.
  • Support to Casuals and Sole Traders of an extra $550 a fortnight for the next 6 months

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC SURVIVAL PACKAGE

  • Payroll tax waived – Payroll tax waived in the 2020 financial year for eligible businesses with taxable wages up to $3 million
  • Payroll tax deferrals – The same eligible businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2021 financial year until 1 January 2021
  • Commercial rent relief – Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief
  • Land tax payment deferral – 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses
  • Liquor licensing fees – 2020 renewable liquor licence fees waived
  • $500m Business Support Fund – The fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail
  • $500m Working for Victoria Fund – The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities, including work cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most

All of the above is what we know at the moment. As usual please feel free to contact us to discuss your individual situation and for further advice on the above.

Keeping Your Business Alive

As a business owner, it is important in this time of uncertainty to stay calm and find light. If you are fortunate to be able to help, help other people. If you need help, do not be afraid to ask for help. Coronavirus is a people virus that does not discriminate and affects all of us, therefore people need to help people and realise that it’s not about them. Finding positives is key as business owners, human beings and advisors. Anxiety feeds anxiety. Fear feeds fear.

If you are a business owner that employs staff, you are responsible for the wellbeing of not only the individual that you employ but also inadvertently the wellbeing of their family and household. If this hasn’t dawned on you before then I’m sure it is now.

What can we do:

  1. REACT NOW: This doesn’t need to be perfect, but you need to take immediate and important action to protect the safety of your employees and keep your business alive. Some of these are:
    • determine a plan for your staff to keep working while abiding by government guidelines and social distancing
    • determine the measures that need to be taken for your business to practice good hygiene to reduce the risk of spreading the virus to staff and customers
    • communicate the first two dot points above effectively
    • prepare financial forecasts with ‘what if’ scenarios and a worst-case scenario to determine how much cash flow you will need to survive. If you aren’t able do this yourself, speak to your advisor
    • based on your financial forecast, determine ways you can spread the cash burden and conserve cash, some ideas are:
      • speak to your bank to see if you can have support on reduced or deferred repayments for a period of time. It is important to understand the short and long term impacts of taking this on, speak with your bank and ask how this option might affect you or your business in the future
      • speak to your landlord to see if you can have some assistance with rental payments
      • speak to your advisor about the government stimulus packages on offer and also determine with the ATO if any tax liability payments can be delayed or paid off over a period of time
      • determine any other large fixed costs that will not stop if you have zero revenue and seek assistance from the supplier. Remember the suppliers are in a tight spot as well so it’s important to be understanding if they can’t help.
  1. KEEP GENERATING REVENUE (KEEP YOUR BUSINESS ALIVE): Do whatever you can to keep your business alive through the coming days, weeks and months ahead. If your business can adapt to these challenges you will be a stronger business at the other end of these difficult times. By reacting now, you stand to be in the best possible position to weather the storm. An important thing to remember is that how your business behaves now will be remembered in the future when all is calm.

Here are some examples we have seen when speaking with clients and businesses over the week:

A finance team that has made the decision early to have 50% of the team work from home:

  • The evaluation of who is most appropriate to work from home was based on the risk to the employee and their family, who drove to work and who used public transport
  • They didn’t have enough laptops, so they packed up the desktop computer and sent that home with the employee.  Dual screens and the box with keyboard, mouse and all of the cables.
  • Remote access tools were tested from the office before they went home, so problems could be quickly sorted from the office rather than over the phone
  • The employees working from home also took their office chairs with them as working from the couch wouldn’t help them remain productive for long
  • Microsoft Teams was installed (and tested) for internal communications and Skype for Business for external communications (could be other remote working software such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Hangouts etc
  • Business critical processes were reviewed and people trained as backups to do that process (payroll in this case).  The process was roughly and quickly documented (pen and paper!) to be able to refer to by a 3rd backup person.
  • Mangers communicated clearly and empathically to staff on what was happening, including that not all answers were known, but assured staff they were working on the issues.
  • Stayed in touch regularly using the remote working tools to ensure the team still was a team.  Eating lunch together virtually.

A manufacturing firm that has:

  • Split shifts with time in between shift changes to help with the ’social distancing’.
  • Hand sanitizers not only near time clocks and around machinery panels, but in walkways so people can ‘pump and go’ as they move between factory areas as they perform their normal day to day tasks

A professional services business that:

  • Introduced a no public transport policy in conjunction with work from home.
  • Spoke to their landlord for temporary rent payment relief
  • Rather than cancel external meetings, contacted a client and changed it to video conference
  • Had their sales team proactively call all customers to keep communication going

Cafes that have

  • Changed payments to totally contactless
  • Changed their product offering to take away coffees, and sealed packaged sandwiches and cakes that customers can ‘buy and leave’ quickly

A construction industry business that

  • Prepared several very quick financial models to ‘what if’ analyse (without overanalysing) 3 scenarios enabling them to make better decisions based on facts rather than emotion
  • Kept their people focused; still allowing discussion and addressing issues, but then carrying on business as normal.  After all, customers still needed them.

You will notice in the examples above, a lot of the actions focus on protecting the health, well-being and trust of staff members and customers. This is extremely important: without staff and customers, we don’t generate revenue.

The examples also show a focus on keeping revenue coming into the business and reducing cash going out of the business. If your business is affected at this time, we don’t need to make record profits or any profits at all but we do need to keep money coming into the bank to pay the bills, staff and keep the business alive.

Whilst the above suggestions and examples are based on situations and measures we have seen implemented this week, we acknowledge that there is no perfect solution for any one business with much changing each day. It’s important to note that the suggestions are general and some may require discussion to determine whether there are any potential adverse consequences in the future for your business. Please call to discuss if you need any help or guidance in measures you can take for your business

Please remember at this time to maintain optimism, respond to facts not opinions and ask for help when needed. Speak to your accountants and business advisors, they are there to walk through this with you.