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1: Financial Position

Do your cashflow forecasts NOW as you must ensure that liquidity is sufficient to weather the storm. Businesses need to define scenarios tailored to your individual context, so you need details of supplier payments, tax, rent, and wages, all documented to the day they’re due.

There are multiple scenarios for every business dependent upon how long COVID-19 influences the economy, Government regulations and Government stimulus packages. For each scenario identify triggers that might significantly impair liquidity. For each such trigger, businesses should define moves to stabilize your business optimizing accounts payable and receivable; cost reduction and divestments.

If people are telling you that, “if you can survive X months COVID-19 will all be over and demand will take off again”, that is pure guesswork, as globally many prediction models have been proposed with all of them giving short, medium and long term models as no-one can accurately predict infection rates and Government responses at this stage.

The Business Enterprise Centre strongly suggest that you talk to your accountant or bookkeeper now to find out your exact financial position. If you are unable to talk to your accountant or don’t have an accountant or bookkeeper, then dependent upon your situation there is a high possibility that we will be able to help you with that.

When you have all the financial facts the Business Enterprise Centre can help plan your business future.

2: Laying Off Staff

The NT Government has requested that the Business Enterprise Centre and the NT Chamber of Commerce work together to provide seamless assistance to NT businesses which we are happy to do. The Business Enterprise Centre provides business analysis, business planning and strategy implementation services and the NT Chambers of Commerce provide HR and IR advice. So for HR issues we refer you to the excellent Chambers Covid19 Employers Guide.

3: Future Work

So what’s in your work pipeline? Is it likely to proceed? Can you resource the work? Do you need to finance the work? These are some of the questions that we will be asking you in order to help you with your strategic planning and implementation.

4: Government Grants for Business

This is a moving feast changing daily, with State and Federal Governments offering different packages, to be more confusing most states business information hotlines do not inform you of Federal packages and the Federal hotlines will not inform you of State Government business packages. Hopefully by the time this is published, this will have changed but I’m not holding my breath. Both the NT Business Enterprise Centre Hotline and NT Chamber of Commerce Hotline provide assistance with Government grants to the best of our knowledge however we may have to refer you to the State or Federal Government for further assistance.

Don’t wait for the government to rescue you

Many businesses complain that the government isn’t doing enough to help them. This is a counter-productive mentality because you’re waiting for them to do something.

As a business owner/manager you must take control of your own future. Deal with your issues as if there is no government help coming. If Government help does come, it is likely that it will be less than you need and will not be available when you need it. So think of Government assistance as an extra bonus, a very last resort, understand that Government assistance is not a magic bullet that will fix everyone’s business, it may or may not provide very short term relief some businesses.

5: Update your terms and conditions

Do you have cancellation clauses in your terms and conditions? This isn’t just for tourism businesses, as a cancellation of a $3000 contract won’t close your doors but a few $100,000 contracts might.

Not that we’re all about black-and-white enforcement of contract; even our hardest negotiations are done by talking like reasonable people. But in times like these you need a place to start that conversation.

Check you’re not exposed.

6: Have the COVID-19 talk with suppliers

Lets break it down into two sorts of suppliers: the business suppliers you work with every week, and larger organisations such as landlords, banks and the tax office.

Ask them to help you survive, in whatever way they can, so you can be a good, ongoing customer in future.

·         Banks are already offering to defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.

·         The ATO is offering tax credits and instant asset write-off. To find out more call BEC-NT or CLICK HERE.  

·         Whilst we believe that an announcement is imminent, at the time of writing this, there has been no announcement on rent relief. I suggest waiting out this week in the anticipation of a Government policy which may be more generous than what your landlord is offering.

 If you have any questions please calI us on 1800 229 500. I sincerely wish you all the best in this very difficult time.  Phillip Loader, BEC-NT General Manager




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For advice, call the NT Business Helpline on: 1800 229 500



1800 229 500

Alice Springs
08 8951 5788

Darwin Office

Suite 2, 3 Whitfield Street 
Darwin City NT 0800 

PO Box 2414, Darwin NT 0801

Alice Springs Office

Central Australia Development Office (CADO), 55 Todd Mall, Alice Springs NT 0870 

PO Box 81, Alice Springs NT 0871

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