The Australian Government has announced the following measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The JobKeeper Program
You may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if your turnover has been reduced because of the coronavirus. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee until 27 September 2020.
The JobKeeper Payment is available to eligible employers, businesses including companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders, not-for-profits and charities.
The intent of the JobKeeper Payment is to enable any eligible self-employed person to get a wage subsidy regardless of what business structure they use, where:
• The business operates through a sole trader structure – one owner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
• The business operates through a partnership – one partner can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
• The business operates through a company – one director can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
• The business has shareholders who provide labour to the company and receive dividends in lieu of wages – one such shareholder can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
• The business operates through a trust – one individual beneficiary (that is, not a corporate beneficiary) can be nominated to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive.
The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the coronavirus health crisis.
The increased instant asset write-off
Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.
Accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements
A time-limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries
The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to provide assistance to industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of the coronavirus.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.
SME Guarantee Scheme
This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.
COVID-19 is likely to be the biggest curveball your business has ever been thrown. It has let many in the business industry feeling lost, helpless and bewildered – to put it mildly. It is truly an unprecedented time for everyone.
While uncertainty reigns under the present circumstances, it can be a real struggle to focus and to be positive. However, this is exactly what is needed to move forward, so focus on the UNIQUE positives you can find within this situation.
We find ourselves where we all now have the time that we’ve always wanted (more of). You can now redirect all that time you spent working IN your business, to now working ON your business. You can step back from the daily task load, take stock of where you are, redirect your energies, get inspired and get STRATEGIC. You now have the time to PLAN and time to DO the activities that will keep your business alive in people’s minds and hearts ready for brighter days to come.
Another unique positive during COVID-19 is the fact that pretty much the whole world is at home, and spending a great deal more time online, where you can reach them!
Mobile app usage is up 20% (globally) more than at this time last year. The social media platforms with the most monthly active users are Facebook, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and TikTok.
SO, now is not the time to be distant and disconnected. You now have a unique opportunity to capture the imagination and attention of a great variety of people. Now is the perfect time to get content about your business out there for people to enjoy, connect with and get excited about.
We find ourselves in a unique moment in history – a global health and financial crisis happening at the same time, causing the perfect storm. There is much devastation being caused by this storm, but how can we take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us during this crisis to help ourselves and each other to emerge stronger?
Very simply: Stay focused on what’s within your control.
We can take advantage of the opportunities presented through this crisis morally and ethically by doing the following:
Reflect on your own development
Now is a great time to take stock of yourself and potentially hit the reset button. With travel and large meetings coming to a complete halt, many people are more available and open to (virtual) networking chats; and that’s great news. Currently, many life and career coaches are offering free or discounted sessions in order to help people through these trying times, so it’s a great time to invest some time to develop your personal and professional skills.
It has been inspiring to see how quickly teams have positioned themselves to take advantage of technology as a means to connect and keep work moving. Online collaboration tools such as Zoom, Skype and Teams have skyrocketed in popularity for meeting face to face to continue providing support for each other. Other technology solutions such as Miro, Parabol and Milanote are also incredibly useful in helping facilitate creative brainstorming and other meetings.
This is the perfect time to show leadership no matter what career stage you’re at. So step up and build your leadership brand as organisations now more than ever need leaders who can step up to the plate and be courageous and trustworthy
Here are a few things you can start doing immediately:
• Check in regularly with teams and people you haven’t been in touch with for a while.
• Use this opportunity to form deeper bonds with team members and customers by connecting on a more empathetic level during this global crisis.
• Be sure to celebrate progress and wins, whether they are big or small
• Train your less tech-savvy co-workers on tools that they can use to increase productivity.
• Use your leadership skills to better manage your teams, provide transparency and help them through shifting priorities, and avoid unproductive spin and panic. It stands to reason that with so much uncertainty, it will be difficult to avoid feeling helpless and giving in to our anxieties during this time. But focusing on the opportunities presented allows us to stay positive and productive for now, and to prepare us to emerge from the crisis stronger than before.
However you choose to reach out to your audience, be sensitive to the times we are living in and ensure you show the real benefit you offer in this current context.
And most importantly, DON’T push a hard sell. Keep in mind money’s tight for everyone during a recession.