This week brought some clarity for businesses wondering what the future of JobKeeper would be at the end of September, but there’s still plenty of big decisions ahead, especially for Victorian small business owners.
 
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced yesterday that JobKeeper would be extended until March 2021, but that businesses would have to qualify every quarter by showing a 30 per cent drop in revenue on their quarterly BAS statements.
 
The scheme will also be wound back from October with lower payment rates, which will be reduced further in January.
 
We know that the scheme had to be phased out eventually. We can’t get the pin code for the government ATM every day of the week.
 
However, when you look at businesses in New South Wales, Queensland and other states re-opening and getting back to normal, and compare that to Victoria which is now the land of the mask and back in lockdown, it is going to make things tough for Victorian small business owners.
 
As we know, small businesses love to stay close to their employees. They work hard to get them and they work hard to keep them, but I’ve spoken to a number of businesses this week that have had a drop in revenue of 20 to 25 per cent, and so won’t qualify for JobKeeper 2.0 in October, and this means tough conversations will have to be had.
 
Are there new initiatives you can try, or new ways of doing business that will keep the business afloat? Are you able to hold onto all your staff?
 
What does the potential loss of JobKeeper do for the mental health of small business owners? This is something I’m very concerned about as we go into this next phase.
 
We are very lucky to have had JobKeeper and JobSeeker across Australia, and while this latest announcement does bring with it some level of certainty for the next six months, the big test will come in three or six months time, when thousands of businesses are no longer eligible for the payments.
 
It’s never been more important to make sure your books are in order and you are prepared for the future.