Finance News

The novel new way to fund your home reno - but there's a catch!

Posted on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

With the banks tightening up following the Banking Royal Commission, money is more difficult to come by than at any time in recent memory. This is proving a challenge for homeowners who want to sell but need to do a bit of work on their house before listing for sale.
 
To solve the problem, the building industry has come up with a novel new reno financing option that sees a builder funding home improvements.
 
The catch is that the homeowner has just 20 days to list the property for sale once the reno is done, and up to 6 months to sell it. This period is interest free, but if the property fails to sell, interest of 15% applies.
 
It’s an interesting new scheme designed to get around the difficulty of getting a loan top-up from the banks, and if all goes well it’s a great solution. But owner beware the interest charge if the property fails to sell!

The pros and cons of a congestion tax

Posted on Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Last week I was speaking at a business breakfast, when I asked the room of small business owners whether falling interest rates had had any positive impact on how they’re running their businesses. Not a single had went up.   The fact is that low interest rates have not created the high-confidence environment that the government and RBA had hoped would occur. What’s needed instead is large-scale reform, like a significant cut to the corporate tax rate or GST.   What’s not needed is a CBD congestion tax, which has been mooted once again by the Grattan Institute. Indeed, any state government even considering such a tax would likely soon cease to be a government.   The proposal is to implement a London-style congestion tax, which currently slugs UK drivers who enter the London CBD with a charge of up to 14 pounds per day.   From a business perspective, this could be disastrous. Retailers are already struggling to pay rent and landlords are struggling to find tenants. ... Read the rest of entry »

Warning: there's a food fight brewing!

Posted on Thursday, October 10, 2019
There’s a food fight brewing, but not the type where you hurl whipped cream across the table at your siblings. US food delivery service Door Dash has entered Australia with a bang in the last month, and the food fight between it, Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Menulog is set to explode. Door Dash is a major player in the USA, with 300,000 food providers using the delivery service to serve more customers. However, there’s a pretty tricky catch that should be very concerning for Australian businesses: Door Dash say their platform is opt-out, rather than opt-in. That means every restaurant is subscribed, whether they choose to be or not, unless they opt-out. There’s been an example of a Camberwell business where a Door Dash driver (known as a Dasher) turned up to collect a delivery, but the business didn’t even know it was subscribed to the platform, let alone required to process an order. This rings all sorts of alarm bells for me. The idea firstly that a business could be offering a serv ... Read the rest of entry »

The Keep Cup challenge

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2019
Are you a keep cup person? They’ve become wildly popular as people try to reduce the amount of waste they create. But what about when you get takeaway food? Typically, you nip out for lunch, buy some food, and it comes in a plastic container, which you promptly toss in the bin when you’re done. It’s wasteful, and in the keep cup era where we no longer accept single-use plastic bags, the question is, how. Much longer can we continue to accept single-use takeaway containers? It’s a problem which Aussie company RETUB is trying to solve. They’re one of the finalists in the Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Awards and we wish them the best of luck! Last week we reported that less than 15% of Australia’s top 100 businesses have a published policy on climate change and climate action. That’s a disgracefully low percentage, and I’d be willing to bet that the percentage of small businesses who have a climate policy would be even lower. Keep cups ar ... Read the rest of entry »

Climate protests: disastrous for small business

Posted on Monday, September 23, 2019
Last week we saw large-scale protests across the world, calling for greater action on climate change. The protests were largely driven by school children, but there were plenty of adults involved as well. This would have been disastrous for their employers, particularly if they were small businesses. I reckon there’s a better way to go about getting real action on climate change that doesn’t involve taking the day off. Of Australia’s top 100 businesses, less than 15% have a published policy on climate change and climate action. That’s a disgracefully low percentage, and I’d be willing to bet that the percentage of small businesses who have a climate policy would be even lower. That’s why I think Friday afternoon would’ve been better spent by businesses encouraging their staff to sit down together and build a strategy to minimise their impact on climate change. It could be as simple as reducing the amount of paper used in printing, or switching to recyclable toner ... Read the rest of entry »
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