This week we heard probably the best news a business could hear from a bank, with the Commonwealth Bank announcing they will not foreclose on customers coming into Christmas if they had met their mortgage repayments in the 12 months leading up to the pandemic.
 
It's fantastic news from a retail point of view, a customer point of view, but most importantly from a small business point of view. It means that if you are under pressure you are able to maintain your home and your business well into 2021, when we all hope that the pandemic will have eased. At this stage only the CBA has committed to this, but I believe the other major banks will follow their lead.
 
It’s now almost a week since many Melbourne businesses have reopened, and while pubs and cafes are welcoming back customers, things are far from normal. Estimates say that up to $450 million has been wiped from the Victorian economy as a result of major events being cancelled or crowds being absent from them.
 
All the milliners, event operators and caterers that normally relish the spring carnival and all the business that it generates will now have to get through another 12 months before they can recover those losses. So while Victoria may be out of lockdown, there are still some hard times ahead for many business owners.
 
One thing that has been brought to my attention in recent days from small business owners is the realisation that this pandemic is going to end, and now is the time to get all your ducks in a row.
 
Once we start operating properly again, which may be in January or February, the last thing you want is to not be client-facing or service-offering. It’s time to be looking at your technology, computers, security systems, printers, suppliers, because if you do this during the pandemic you will be able to go hard when it’s all over.
 
Consumer confidence is certainly on an upward trend across the country, with Victoria joining other states in opening up far more, and now we are on the long road to recovery for small business. Make sure you are as ready as you can be for it.