Today we look at what Government Grants, Government Support is available to help your business cope and survive through this crisis. Governments all around the world are releasing Government Stimulus Packages. Make sure you find out what and were they might be.
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Video Transcript – Coping with Crisis Day 04 – Government Grants and Assistance
Hi everybody it’s Jane Tweedy from FAQ Business Training. Today on our Coping With Crisis series, we’re going to talk about some of the financial aspects. In particular, taking advantage of finances that are available from Government resources to make sure you get through these times.
Obviously the governments and the decisions they’re making are causing our businesses to be hugely affected by this health crisis, which is creating a global financial crisis.
Today my talk is about how to access government funding, and to make sure that you’re doing so. Now I’ve spoken to some business owners, and they’re kind of in that sort of “don’t know whether I should really be applying for this. I don’t feel that my business is that affected, or I just think that oh you know I don’t really want to do it”.
Claim if you’re eligible – you’re eligible for a reason
The fact is, if you’re eligible for the funding, it’s being provided to you for a reason. It’s been calculated for a reason. So for instance, in Australia the JobKeeper program is available for those with a 30% reduction in turnover, and there are some other tests for businesses that don’t quite fit in the neat boxes [subject to all criteria being met if course – check out our JobKeeper Business Stimulus Package page]. And what that means is that a business that has a 30% for reduction, from quite a small amount can still be eligible. And it can mean, in some cases they actually earn more than they did before.
Can cover loss of income now or while restrictions in place
But that’s okay. Because what the Government is recognising, is that your income potentially has been completely annihilated, particularly for instance travel. If you’re in the travel industry at the moment you clearly ain’t taking many bookings at the moment. For instance in New South Wales we’re not allowed to leave the state, we’re only allowed to travel small distances, there’s restrictions on what we can do, and certainly international travel is going to be something that we’re not getting any time soon. They’re not going to open the borders and undo all the good that’s been done.
Rebuilding your working capital and sales buffer
So what does that mean for you and your business? That means take advantage of what you are entitled to. So for instance, if you’re eligible for JobKeeper, take it. As I mentioned before, this is not just money for now, so it is not just covering a loss of income for now. But what it’s actually doing is recognising if businesses have their working capital or their savings or whatever annihilated, they’re not going to be able to keep going. So they’re not going to have money put aside for the next rainy day or whatever.
But I’m not really that badly affected
That’s why it’s really important,even if you go “but I don’t know if I really need it. I’m not that badly affected”. If you’re 30% down, 40% down, 50% down, and you’re eligible for the thing. Take the thing!
Services like NSW Government funded Business Connect
Now also there are services available. For instance in New South Wales there are services like the Business Connect program, which I am a part-time advisor for. Now that program allows business owners to get 4 hours of business advice normally, normal situation. They can get 4 hours of business advice at absolutely no cost to them. But what I find incredibly amazing is they [local small business owners] don’t take advantage of this. They’re not actually using a service that’s been provided for them. Now your taxes and things that you pay factor in paying for these type of services, so please make sure you use them.
Normal Government grant assistance
If you’re in Australia you can look up business.gov.au/assistance just to see what’s normally avaliable, let alone all the things that are available for the Coronavirus period.
Government stimulus package for small businesses
So you can look up your country website. You can look up your state website, if you’re in Australia or the US or whatever. You can look up your local council website and see what has been put out there available for you. For instance in New South Wales, we have the Australian federal site. We’ve got Boosting Cash Flow, and we’ve got JobKeeper. We’ve got various things at the federal level and they’re available on australia.gov.au, or on sites like treasury.gov.au, or of course the ato.gov.au if they’re administering it (like JobKeeper).
Business Connect again (because it’s such a good service!)
So we have that level of things at the federal or country level. Then you have a next tier down, potentially at a state or local council level. In the NSW example we have available resources for businesses at the state level. As I mentioned, the Business Connect program is for NSW. There are other alternative programs available across the rest of the states. Currently because of Coronavirus COVID-19, that particular program Business Connect, not just the 4 hours is no cost. You get 34 hours no cost of training and advice. [In August 2020 the hours were upped from 34 to 60 hours and are still no cost for COVID-19 impacted businesses. Non affected businesses get a minimum of 4 hours business advice at no cost.]
Time to upskill
Please make sure you take advantage of this. Use it. It’s a great time to up skill anyway and we’ll talk about that in another video. So take advantage of that. At the council level, councils like for instance City of Sydney (which is a particular local council area), they also have Grants available to their businesses too. So make sure you check out what’s available for you.
Build that cash flow buffer
Remember it’s not just serving you for the here and now. It’s to keep your business going. To help you recreate that working capital and that savings buffer you had in place, before you ate into that to cover the last 6 or 8 weeks of time.
Maintain a level playing field
So please make sure you take advantage of what you’re allowed to do. And also remember it helps keep you on a level playing field. If you don’t take these things that are offered to you, and available to you, and you’re entitled to but your competitors are, what do you think that’s going to do? They’ve got an extra $10,000 that you don’t have. That’s $10,000 more they’re potentially out there and marketing and you’re not.
Your homework – review available government assistance
Please look into what your eligibility is for the things through your government through your local councils. Anything that you can get your paws on at this time. Where you are fairly allowed to claim, please do so.
I’m Jane Tweedy and I’m from FAQ Business Training.
Check out our other Coping With Crisis Tips