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Wage packet subsidy update

WAGE SUBSIDY & PIVOTING BUSINESSES

Government to unveil coronavirus wage subsidy for businesses, workers. Businesses are expected to be paid a wage subsidy of up to $1,500 per employee, under a Federal Government plan to keep thousands of Australians in work during the coronavirus crisis.

Key points:

🦠 Payments will be backdated

🦠 Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg said the Government was determined to keep as many Australians in jobs as possible

🦠 The new scheme will form part of the Government’s third economic assistance package

Under the plan, to be unveiled later today, big and small businesses would be given the fortnightly subsidy to help pay their workers’ wages, while their revenue takes a hit. As it’s understood that the payments will be backdated, this might help people already stood down since the border closures and partial economic shutdown took effect. However, a third of businesses are part-time and nothing has been said about these workers for now.

https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

A range of stimulus packages at both State and Federal levels continue to be rolled out. Make sure you keep up to date with what you’re entitled to.

Don’t forget, we are fully open and you can book an hour consultancy slot anytime. Ellie and Phil.

📱Ellie – 0475 841 664

👊 Phil – 0412 667 864

FREE EMPLOYER WEBCAST – LAWYERS

Date: Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Time: 1:30PM – 2:30PM AEDT

Where: Live online

With the COVID-19 situation evolving every minute, businesses are facing challenges never experienced before. The team at Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors are committed to providing the latest information for employers and the business community.

Submit questions beforehand. Register here.

BUSINESSES THAT ARE PIVOTING

Flowers aren’t exactly in high demand right now, so Melbourne florist Victoria Whitelaw took a sideways step into fresh produce boxes, delivered without any contact with customers. The boxes have fruit and vegetables from Melbourne’s markets and some include produce from other Victorian businesses.

THINGS TO DO NOW

🎯 INNOVATE

Using this time to look for ways to innovate in your small business and find ways to do things better is a great use of time if you’re unable to trade, or trading at low levels.

For example, commit to use this time to update your website, build a bank of social media content, write a series of blogs to run at a later date.

🎯 AUTOMATE INVOICES

Your cloud accounting platform should have a setting that enables you to automatically send out overdue invoices.

MYOB helps you get money in your pocket faster by automatically notifying your customers to pay their invoices. You can also set up unpaid invoice summaries to send your customers a monthly summary of unpaid invoices.

🎯 SHIFT TO ONLINE

Bricks and mortar businesses should set their business up online as soon as possible. You can set up an e-commerce platform reasonably quickly, or sell from a site such as Amazon, Shopify or Etsy. You may want to shift popular stock items to your home and set up a distribution centre from there to keep your business ticking over.

ASK YOUR CUSTOMERS TO HELP

✅ Asking your customer to help – not everything costs money.

Ask them to be more understanding when things go wrong. Expecting a more adequate service level rather than their desired service level, because we’re all in unprecedented times.

A good online review is uplifting for you. It’s letting you know you are valued, ask them to write one.

Can they help you to spread positive vibes on social media?

Can you ask them to tell others what your business is actually doing to keep its customers safe and healthy if you are taking precautions … by liking these sort of posts, commenting, sharing and following?

Stay up-to-date on the coronavirus outbreak.

You can also get up-to-date information on the Federal Government’s Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Play and the Government’s WhatsApp channel.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF WHAT’S HAPPENING

Tips for staying focused and helping others. (3-minute read).With thanks to Greg Nathan, from Franchise Relationship Institute, www.franchiserelationships.com.

As events have been unfolding, we have all been going through an emotional roller coaster that feels something like this. It starts with shock, confusion and uncertainty about what’s going on. It then moves to feeling anxious about the losses associated with changes to our businesses and lifestyles. Then to perhaps frustration or anger with others and ourselves for not doing enough to fix things. If you can successfully navigate through these initial feelings of disorientation, you will come to a realistic acceptance of the way things are, and growing confidence and determination to adapt and accommodate.

Of course, as new information comes to light, we are likely to find ourselves moving backwards and forwards in this process. I want to emphasise that this is a natural human reaction to being on the receiving end of sudden and significant change. People whose homes were in the path of the bushfires have been through it; farmers suffering from years of drought have been going through it; we are now all experiencing it.

🧠 Because our minds like certainty and control 🧠, current events have basically triggered a threat response in the community. This can cause brain freeze, where we find it difficult to think clearly and make decisions. Some people go into denial, perhaps clinging to the Aussie mantra, “she’ll be right”, while they wait for everything to return to normal. (I just watched a 60-Minutes interview with Gerry Harvey who was clearly in denial – he couldn’t see what all the fuss was about, because Harvey Norman’s sales were currently up from people buying freezers.) Others will become agitated and distracted as they fight to save their livelihoods. These reactions are the psychological equivalent of the freeze, flight, fight response, which is always triggered by perceived threats.

The leadership challenge

A leader’s job is to move his or her mind through this reactive response as quickly as possible, to a calmer and clearer state where they can absorb facts, focus on solutions, and make sound decisions. Here’s a couple of useful tips.

⚡️ Firstly, and most importantly, we can’t lead from behind. So before talking with friends, family or staff, we need to get our own thinking under control. A simple and helpful strategy is to regularly do a Check-In. Take a moment to stop what you are doing and check-in on yourself. ⚡️

Try it by answering these four questions.

  1. How is my physical energy on a scale of 1 to 10? (Take a deep breath) 
  2. What are three words to describe how I am feeling right now?
  3. What’s the main thing that’s bothering me or that’s on my mind?
  4. What’s the most important thing I want to achieve at this moment?

This exercise can also be done with a buddy. You should not analyse or dwell on the thoughts or feelings, just acknowledge they are there. After doing the Check-In you will probably feel a little better, be thinking more clearly and have more energy. This is because the process of naming what’s going on in our mind, reduces the hold the primitive, reactive parts of our brain have on us, and stimulates our higher level, problem-solving resources.

Because we are, in a sense, taming the hold negative emotions have on us, I call this process “Name it to Tame it”. After doing this you will feel more prepared to focus on small actions that will move you toward what you want to achieve.

Finding NEMO 🐠

While it’s useful to do a Check-In on yourself, you can also do this to help your friends, family and/or staff move from feeling overwhelmed, to feeling they can focus on what they need to do. Before jumping into problem-solving, take some time to check-in and ask how they’re going, or what’s the most pressing thing that’s bothering them. Don’t be pushy or overly intense. Just listen with an empathetic, accepting ear. You will find that when people feel genuinely listened to and accepted, they are more likely to engage with you and explore possible solutions. We call this Doing a NEMO, which stands for acknowledge and
•    Name what’s going on for someone,
•    Empathise with them, then
•    Move the conversation
•    On to explore solutions.

Help solve immediate needs

Another way to support people in times of uncertainty and change is to keep them informed of useful facts and provide practical help with their immediate challenges. Many people will be anxious about whether their business will survive, and will be trying to manage immediate cash flow pressures. Help access relevant information, give advice on communicating with customers and provide support in negotiating with key suppliers such as landlords. A daily 15 to 30-minute catch-up would be a smart strategy. This can be done using interactive video platforms one-on-one, in small groups or on a larger scale. (If you need help with this, we, Build Grow Run provide a coaching service on running effective interactive virtual meetings).

Focus on what you can control

Finally, it helps to focus discussions on solutions and what people can control. Waffling about negative events, allowing people to feel sorry for themselves, or regurgitating dramatic news will just throw you both into feelings of helplessness. Checklists can be extremely useful to focus the mind constructively and identify possible actions that can be taken.