There’s a lot to think about as we re-evaluate and adapt to our new world of isolation and restrictions, and it can be hard to know how to tackle the sudden shift.
While Council has a range of initiatives and relief packages to support small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve pulled together advice from some leading local business experts.
Stewart Moore, CEO, EarthCheck
Small businesses, by definition, are agile and responsive to most economic, environmental and social threats. We generally can prepare for and respond to most crisis events because they tend to sit in front of us and have happened before.
This event is like no other that we have faced. We can’t see it, yet it will affect every part of our supply chain and all of our customers. In times like this we need to go back to basic business fundamentals. These include:
- Having clear workplace policies which protect employees and give them a shared sense of purpose.
- Sitting down to stress test every aspect of your business financials including cash flow and debtors. This is a time when cash really is king.
- Engaging and maintaining direct communication with all of your customers
- Putting in train a plan B, C and D for recovery.
This is a time when you need your A team to be there. This might include your accountant or banker, your solicitor and your trade partners. Use all the wisdom and support that you can muster. You are going to need it.
Learn more about EarthCheck.
Michael Kava, Director, Little Marketing
Coronavirus is something that most Australians never thought we’d have to go through. In such a crisis, especially as business owners, it’s hard to stay positive, but this is the real character test. We have to stay strong, support each other and aim for the other side.
In terms of the nuts and bolts of business, here’s a shortlist of things you can pay special attention to that will help us all get through these remarkable times and make ourselves even stronger when this is all over:
- Speak with your accountant to get the right advice around the stimulus package – there’s a lot to take in, so speak with the experts.
- Keep communicating – your customers and clients still need you now, and if not now, when the storm is over. So, keep them informed - don’t let this be a chance for them to look elsewhere.
- For businesses looking to refresh things, whether it be a fresh coat of paint or a new logo, now is a perfect time. It allows you to be ready when the crisis is over.
- Finally, whatever you do, don’t stop moving. It’s easy to throw the towel in. Get great people around you, stay positive and stop watching the bad news stories on TV and social – they won’t help your business, only you will!
Read more about Little Marketing.
Dominique Lamb, CEO, National Retail Association (NRA)
With prolonged restrictions still in place, myriad packages from local, state and federal governments have been announced that assist Brisbane retailers.
The most comprehensive stimulus available to business is the JobSeeker wage subsidy scheme. Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Australian Government to continue paying their employees.
Also, the National Retail Association has partnered with Vincents Chartered Accountants. Vincents has volunteered to man a financial assistance hotline, offering members 15 minutes of complimentary advice from their financial directors. Vincents has also provided a series of webinars and budgeting templates you can access online.
Stephen Tait, CEO, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ)
Brisbane’s small business community has taken a massive hit due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, and many businesses are feeling the strain and stress. To help your business survive these rapidly changing and challenging times, there are some practical steps to follow.
- Know what financial support is available
Governments have released a range of assistance packages.
- Know your financial standing
Plan and forecast for various scenarios and importantly, talk to your bank early. The sooner you do, the more options you’ll have.
- Be agile and adapt
Traditional business models need to change. Be innovative and diversify your offerings by looking for new ways to help your customers, or new niches your business can fill.
To get more information visit CCIQ.
Stay in the know
Council has more support and resources for Brisbane businesses, so subscribe to our email updates to stay in the loop.
You can also join Council’s new dedicated Facebook group for local businesses, to keep connected with other like-minded owners and operators, and hear from guest business experts.