Strategies and advice for businesses to stay in control through COVID-19 and get ahead of the pack

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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 23rd July

I’m here with the COVID-19 continuity update for Australian businesses on Thursday 23rd July.

In today’s briefing:
1. Government guaranteed loans extended
2. Hints and tips for face coverings

1. Government guaranteed loans extended

On Monday the PM announced the government guaranteed loans for businesses have been extended.

The details of the extensions are:
• The term of guaranteed loans can be increased from three to five years;
• SMEs can now borrow up to $1 million, up from the previous $250,000; and
• The purpose has been expanded beyond working capital to include “investment” to enable businesses to fund growth.

I am yet to be convinced that these loans will benefit Tenfold clients. Borrowing large sums of money to cash flow your business through this COVID-19 period or even during the subsequent rebound period comes with considerable risks.

Instead of relying on borrowed funds, at Tenfold we aim to set businesses up to self-fund their growth from working capital, paying particular attention to the businesses’ cash gap. When we notice that a cash gap is significant, we assess what the cause is. If some of your clients are stretching their payments out, we need to find out why, and look at ways to correct the problem. If you use borrowed funds to bridge the cash gap, it does not fix the underlying cause.

In my experience, it is best to avoid excessive debt except for specific circumstances such as trade finance for importing/exporting and invoice finance when dealing with large corporate clients who set their own extended payment terms.

Another aspect of the government-backed loans to be aware of is the challenge to get loan applications approved. When these were initially announced, it was very hard to access funding quickly. Many banks were not open to “new to bank” borrowers, and even getting a loan application approved with your existing bank was lengthy and arduous.

While the PM’s announcement may sound like good news, it may not be the lifeline it’s being touted as.

We’ll keep monitoring the flow of detailed information on these loans and help you to see where they might be beneficial.

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2. Hints and tips for face coverings

Wearing a face mask is going to be part of our life in Melbourne for a long time to come. I cannot see this being wound back until case numbers are back in the low 10s.

This article may assist as you and your team adapt – it includes tips, such as how to avoid getting short of breath and how to prevent glasses fogging up: https://theconversation.com/13-insider-tips-on-how-to-wear-a-mask-without-your-glasses-fogging-up-getting-short-of-breath-or-your-ears-hurting-143001

For information on the Victorian government mandate for face coverings, visit the Vic DHHS website here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-coverings-1159pm-wednesday-22-july

And for guidelines on types of face coverings and how to use them, see this page of the Vic DHHS website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/face-masks-victoria-covid-19

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It’s good to see the case numbers in Victoria stabilise, but these are dangerous times where the virus could either be reined in or spiral out of our control. Stay safe.

Ash

Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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