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No one can deny it has been a long challenging Autumn and winter period, unlike any we have experienced before in life or business. But, we have made it through the coldest and shortest days of 2020 and its now September… SPRING!!!

I am a believer that a change of seasons brings new enthusiasm as we go about our lives and business activities.

This morning on my way to work it seemed like people were happier, I saw a few people with windows down and tapping on steering wheels… I was one of them.

Even though this spring will be a challenging one with the end of Jobkeeper 1.0, we must move forward with a positive and a healthy attention to business cashflow.

Some Spring Cleaning Financial Tips;

• End of JobKeeper 1.0: Since the March lock down, many businesses have had to deal with a significant downturn in sales. A large number of businesses have been propped up by JobKeeper 1.0. At the end of this month the final wage subsidy will be paid to all registered businesses and unless there is continuing and consistence sales downturns, small business will need to start being self-funded.

• Break Even Analysis is a useful tool for determining at what point your business will be can pay its bills and become profitable. It calculates at what point total costs and revenue are equal allowing you to then review sales and costs to achieve a desired profit. Our team can help with preparation of a Break-Even Analysis for your business.

• With the majority of small business finishing up with the JobKeeper 1.0 program, it’s time to have a good hard look at staffing levels. It has been pleasing that small business have been able to retain employee’s under the subsidy and in a best case scenario pre COVID-19 turnover has returned or is has improved from the early days of the pandemic, however it is not the time to hold onto excess staffing. If you will be in a position required to reduce staffing, ensure you get advice to avoid unnecessary legal issues.

• JobKeeper 2.0 will commence in October. Talk to our team about your eligibility for continued wage subsidy support.

• Loan deferrals that were offered by banks in the early stages of COVID-19 are now coming to an end. It is important that small business owners assess their ability to continue to fund loans when they return to normal repayments. If you predict difficulty meeting loan repayments talk to your bank early to look at your options

• If you are a commercial tenant or landlord you will have noticed the obvious absence of further guidance by the Morrison government. There is a reason for that, it is a difficult subject at this time and any actions taken have significant implications for the economy. It is important to continue to review your cash flow and ability to fund lease commitments and discuss with your landlord where possible. Seek legal advice should you be unable to come up with agreeable terms.

• While its early to be thinking about Christmas, it is timely to mention Christmas shutdowns if they apply to your business. Again, predicting your cash flow and ensuring you can cover Christmas wage outgoings is very important.

• Look after yourself! It has been interesting times for all of us in business, some are doing it tougher than others and it can really take a toll on your physical and mental well being.

There is nothing like getting out and about in the sun and fresh air. As business owners we need to look after ourselves, so we are in a good place to look after our staff and customers.

With our sensational coastline and upper Hunter beauty we definitely have one of the best back drops for spending quality time with those important to us.

We hope that Spring brings you a new mindset to continue to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on your business.

The team at Hamilton Taggart are here to support you each step of the way.

Melanie Hamilton
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