Just last week I was talking about the impact on business for ten postcodes across Melbourne that had been sent back into lockdown, and now we have the rest of the metropolitan area about to experience the same pain – again.
 
With the city reverting to stage 3 lockdown measures as of last night, the impact on businesses is going to be severe. But it is something that we have already been through, so the key is to stay prepared.
 
The federal treasurer is set to announce the future of JobKeeper and JobSeeker in a couple of weeks, and my hope is that there will be an extension or at least a review of the scheme for Victorian businesses.
 
Premier Dan Andrews flagged that there could be some more relief from the federal government, but that is still unknown at this point.
 
With that on the horizon, it is time to call your accountant and make sure you are right on top of your finances and prepared to strike when the time comes.
 
As a business owner, you have to assess what your numbers have been for June, for May and for April, because businesses would have qualified for JobKeeper based on their March numbers and the previous 12 months, so you will need to be up to date in case any extra assistance is announced or there are any changes to the Job Keeper scheme.
 
The next step will be to investigate what your business might look like over the next six weeks of the lockdown, and also coming up with a return to normal plan.
 
Normal is no longer going to be five days a week in an office. Staying flexible with working from home, or finding new ways to continue your business and keep your employees working, is what will keep small businesses afloat.
 
The big key through all this is communication. With your employees, with your clients and customers, and with the general public. If you are still open in some capacity, get the word out and make the best of a bad situation. 
 
Text messages, email, social media, new signage – whatever you need to do to give your business a push and help it survive the next six weeks is vital. As we saw during the last lockdown, Victorians love to support local businesses, so don’t lose faith.