To help business owners deal with the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis, Australia’s largest non-bank funder of SMEs has created a centralised, easy reference page for SMEs highlighting the range of federal, state and other assistance packages available.
Access the ScotPac COVID-19 Business Hub here. This resource page will be regularly updated as new information and support packages come to hand.
ScotPac CEO Peter Langham said the page provided an “immediate actions” check list for businesses, links to Government and ATO assistance, major cashflow and working capital issues business owners should consider, and other useful resources and tips.
The information has been collated from a number of government and private sector sources and draws on ScotPac’s relationships with some of the big four accounting firms to put in place an easy reference point for stressed business owners.
“The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has tipped everyone into unchartered territory. It’s important for businesses to know they are not alone, and that governments, industry bodies and funders are all working to lend support,” Mr Langham said.
“For small businesses, the number one priority needs to be keeping your business viable and this comes down to your cash flow and maintaining the war chest as best you can to get through these challenging times.
“Tax breaks and other assistance are there now to access. The business hub we’ve put together online is there to help business owners prioritise the actions they’ll need to take this week, and over the coming months.”
Below is a sample of what businesses can find on the site:
Government assistance, including the ATO
Have you read through the state, territory and national stimulus packages to understand what support is available to you? Do you know your next steps to accessing these packages?
If you are on an ATO repayment plan, have you called to ask for a temporary (3 – 6 month) stop to your regular repayments? Find out more here.
Regular, honest communication with your financier is key. Consider what help you need; if you need additional money, do you have anything else to offer to support your request?
Have you read through the Government stimulus packages available? Many banks are deferring mortgage repayments for 3-6 months if you need some hardship support.
If you trade from rented premises, proactively call your landlord and ask for some relief. Options may include reducing rent now and paying more when covid-19 passes or renegotiating your rent to only pay a % of revenue.
Comprehensive Cash Flow and Operational Considerations
Establish a 13-week or longer cash flow forecast. Review it daily or as regularly as possible.
- Prepare sensitivity analysis on revenue (V shape – quick fall, quick recovery; U shape – medium fall, longer recovery; L shape – sharp fall, uncertain recovery).
- You may be uncertain about your revenue, but you can take steps now to control your costs. Halt or reduce your cost base, including cutting discretionary spend.
- Appoint one person in your business to approve all expenditure; this will help you keep track of what you are spending and why.
- Model worst-case situations for the short to medium term. It’s okay to hope for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.
Talk regularly to clients and suppliers, they are your key partners. People are more willing to help if they understand what you need. It is ok to be vulnerable and ask for help.
Review funding solutions to see what’s available to you, what’s appropriate for you and whether your current solutions best suit you.
Take stock of your assets and understand where your hidden value is. Contracts, invoices, inventory, equipment etc.
Seek advice and counsel where possible. Talk to your advisors and gain their expertise.