Tips for businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

  • Businesses can be particularly vulnerable during unexpected events and emergencies, like the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • This page has tips to help businesses in Cardinia Shire to deal with the potential impacts.

One of the greatest resources for your business success is your staff. When your business is under financial stress it is easy to only focus on your business challenges. However, your staff may be feeling the stress too, so it’s important to consider their wellbeing, and how their wellbeing can impact your customers.

  • Check in with staff on how they are dealing with the challenges.
  • Make sure they know what they need to do to minimise the risk of contracting the disease. This prevents unnecessary stress. More info: Department of Health and Human Services website
  • Keep your staff informed about what is happening within your business. They may be worried that their job/shifts are at risk.
  • Encourage staff to engage with your customers in a positive way – if there are less customers, you may be able to provide a more personalised service, such as thanking customers for their continued support when they visit your retail premises.

If managed well, rebuilding from an unexpected event or emergency can bring teams closer together and provide a shared sense of achievement and loyalty.

Staff may be affected for a long time and just as businesses recover at different speeds, so do people.

  • Monitor your own mental health and that of your staff.
  • Celebrate successes – a good day can break the cycle of anxiety.
  • Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit Lifeline Australia – they offer 24/7 support for anyone suffering emotional distress or trauma.
  • Continue working with your accountant or advisors on your cash flow, outgoings obligations, financial planning, and on developing a recovery plan.
  • Look into negotiating repayment plans for loans, or request payments to be deferred due to the impact of loss of trade.
  • Look out for Victorian and Federal government announcements about assistance packages.
  • Look out for disaster grants and/or loans and see if any are relevant to what you’re experiencing.
  • Ask landlords (or banks) about payment plans over the period of the downturn and recovery
  • Apply to utility providers for hardship assistance, and/or a payment plan
  • Speak with your accountant about any tax implications that may impact your business as a result of the loss of trade. Ask the ATO if you payments can be deferred. More info: ATO website
  • CPA Australia has a useful disaster recovery toolkit for long-term recovery. It is aimed at busiensses during floods or fires, but could include some useful tips that apply to your situation.
  • Thank your customers and suppliers for their support during the downturn, and encourage them back. Stronger relationships are often formed as part of a challenge.
  • Lean on those who offer support.
  • Connect with other businesses and the community to assist your own recovery and that of others
  • ‘Buy local’ for goods and services you need, if practical and possible. This supports other local businesses and strengthens the local economy. Encourage others to do the same.
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