Financial support and business survival in the COVID-19 era
The COVID-19 pandemic (Coronavirus) will affect everyone, young or old, small businesses to large corporations, sole traders to employees. With so much uncertainty it’s hard for the business owner to know what to do or where to turn. The accounting team at Bottom Line Control have some practical advice so your business has every chance of surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.
Immediate actions to take
Being proactive can help avoid getting into trouble in a few weeks or months. Things you should consider doing immediately include:
Your bank may defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months with many banks rolling out a fast track approval process to ensure help gets to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, assistance could include saving fees and charges, interest-free period or no interest rate increases, or debt consolidation to help manage payments.
Most bank websites have information about their particular COVID-19 Assistance options as well as instructions on how to apply for the support package.
More COVID-19 Assistance bank links can be found - ausbanking.org.au
Some banks are also offering support for personal customers including deferring home loan payments for 6 months which could further help struggling small businesses and their staff.
See what your bank as to offer - ausbanking.org.au/banks-small-business-relief-package
It’s really important to know your employee’s rights and how much you need to pay them. CCIQ (Chamber of Commerce & Industry QLD) have provided important information for managing your workplace, outlining; employer obligations, working from home, business shutdowns and more, to help with your ongoing business operations.
CCIQ have some excellent resources that they’re making available to non-members - cciq.com.au/coronavirus-information/
If your business employs apprentices or trainees you may qualify for a subsidy. Contact your AASN (Australian Apprenticeship Support Network) provider for more information.
If you have existing Tax Office debts, they may remit any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020; and allow affected businesses to enter into low-interest payment plans for their existing and ongoing tax liabilities.
Importantly, assistance measures will not be implemented automatically by the ATO. Therefore, anyone impacted by COVID-19 is required to contact the ATO Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218 when they are ready to request assistance.
More information on the Australian Taxation Office COVID-19 support can be found here - ato.gov.au
Reduce business costs & unnecessary expenses
Go over your businesses Profit and Loss Statement in detail and look for any savings which can be made. If we do your BAS, a Management Report up to December 2019 has been emailed to you. Plus, all our XERO clients have access to their accounting and can drill down to see exactly what they are spending.
If you would like some objective, professional assistance to carry out this process contact our office at 5471 7077 to schedule a consultation.
Rent and outgoings
Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner has announced Brisbane City Council will waive all charges, rents, levies and permit fees effective immediately for all businesses. The Gold Coast City Council will also offer a range of measures to support local businesses. At time of publishing the Sunshine Coast Council was yet to offer any additional assistance. Possibly lobby your landlord or Local Council to do the same.
Sole Traders who are unable to work or have suffered a loss of business due to the COVID-19 situation may be able to access Government assistance such as the Job Seeker Payment. There is a Payment and Service Finder on the Services Australia (Centrelink) website that helps people find assistance. - centrelink.gov.au
Government Coronavirus Stimulus Package No2
The Federal Government Stimulus Packages include cashflow injections for small business, loan guarantees, and accelerated depreciation. Little detail has been provided at this time, but as information comes to hand, the Bottom Line Control team will be working with clients to ensure they access everything they are entitled to. It will be more important than ever to have a pre-financial year-end catch up with our accountants.
The bottom line is, we need to remind ourselves these tumultuous times will pass. Things may never be the same, but we need to comfort ourselves and family we’ll come through it.
Helpful COVID-19 assistance resources for small businesses
Australian Government Fact Sheets
- Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses
- Income Support for Individuals
- Payment Support For Households
- Early Access To Superannuation - The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.