COVID-19 has affected all of us both personally and financially. The biggest issue arises for many of our clients who have been affected in both cases, because they run a small business. Suppliers slowing or shutting down, debtors not paying or having to modify their own operations all of which heavily affect their bottom line.
As a result, many industries such as fitness have had to modify their services to online training, the retail sector for the most part has shut down and focused on online sales and companies such as Dyson are looking for effective ways to assist with new and innovative products.
In these trying times, here are some ways you can hibernate your business or run it effectively:
Many businesses have been hit hard financially, so the quickest way to save some dollars appears to be laying off staff. That may be true for the short term, but once things return to normal you need to consider the costs of recruitment and training new staff and weigh that up against your current situation. To help you retain staff, you could try one of these options:
- Reduce the workday to 4 days per week (saving of roughly 20%) on wages
- Ask your staff to take some accrued annual leave, this may not help with immediate cash flow but will reduce costs overall
- If possible, ask staff to work part days
- Apply for the JobKeeper payments for eligible staff
Many businesses have had great success in negotiating rent-free periods, rent reductions or rent deferrals with their landlords. Other businesses have simply stopped paying their rent, taking advantage of the temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent announced by the government. Lastly, there is the option in some cases to utilise the bond to make repayments in the short term, and pay that back later. Have an open conversation with your landlord about what your situation is.
Similarly, it may be possible to negotiate with suppliers to obtain more generous payment terms, pricing and potentially renegotiate other contract terms.
All of the big four banks have stated that they will provide repayment holidays of both interest and principal on existing loans for between three and six months. Business owners should also consider whether this might be available for their personal, investment or home loans.
Banks have also introduced loans of up to $250,000 with extended repayment options.
Consider the range of federal and state government response measures that may apply to your business such as the PAYG withholding cash-flow boosts, the JobKeeper payment and state-based payroll tax reductions/deferrals.
Businesses can also look to vary their PAYG instalments down to take account of their drop in taxable earnings. In addition, the ATO has also indicated that it will provide a range of payment deferrals and low-interest payment arrangements in relation to outstanding tax liabilities.
If your business productivity has been affected by COVID-19, speak with your CAAA Commercial Concierge about what assistance you are able to receive or with our personal banker about what loan options you could take.