Over the past month or so unemployment has skyrocketed in Australia. The estimate is that at least 1 million people may become unemployed by June. This is a massive number and they are all real people! These figures do not include all the sole traders that have lost work or had their workload reduced significantly. The so called “Gig” economy of workers is said to have lost $47 million in lost income and 190,000 people affected. Obviously, there are a lot of people out there right now that are feeling the impact of this significant event. At a time like this we all need to come together and look at ways to continue working through as best as we can and supporting our families.
The above statistics have meant that a lot of money has needed to be injected into the economy to keep business and employees moving. Some of the main incentives that have been offered are: The PAYG Boost, The Jobkeeper/Jobseeker payments, Loan deferrals, Rent/Lease assistance and Loans for small business. This list is not extensive and there are numerous opportunities to get assistance from the federal and state governments. This just shows that the government is trying to assist the economy as fast as they can.
The best thing to do right now is review all the incentives that government has on offer, so you know which ones are available to the specific circumstance you find yourself. Whether you are a business owner, sole trader or employee now is the time to start running a budget and project out your expenses and income over the next 6 months. If you see a shortfall then you need to act fast and decisive.
This may include the following strategies:
1. Reduce un-necessary expenses, if you have subscription’s to things that are not necessary then cut them now. Even if it’s only $25/month, you cut this now it will lead to a $300 saving for the year.
2. Review all your loan liabilities, the banks are offering good rates now so now is the time to get that reviewed. If you realize that you are going to be cash flow short over the next 6 months you can change the loans to interest only or even defer the payments for 6 months. You really need to talk to your bank manager or broker to see if any of these options work for you.
3. If you owe money to the ATO then get on the phone to them and see if you can defer the payments or come up a payment plan.
4. Look for opportunities to earn more revenue. There may be work you are able to do that will help increase your income over the next few months. There is a lot of money in the economy right now so there are opportunities to get new work.
5. The state governments are all offering different small business incentives and even loans. Talk to your accountant/adviser and see if any of these are applicable to your situation.
6. There are options regarding superannuation that your financial adviser or superannuation fund may be able to assist you with.
7. Look for professional development opportunities. If you find yourself at home then see if there are any courses you can do that will help with employment.
Perhaps when this is over, some of the changes above will assist you moving forward. We all need to change our mindset. The focus needs to shift to what is available in the present scenario and what can be done to increase your financial position. The old way of doings is no longer! In saying that there are still opportunities and we will come out the other side stronger as a community.