COVID-19 Business Update – 23 July 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s update.

JobKeeper Changes Coming in September

Jobkeeper 2.0 and 3.o have been announced. Read more on this announcement in our previous update here.

If you have any questions or queries for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re still here to help. It might not feel like it at the moment, with the uncertainty of increasing Covid Cases, but we are all in this together.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending the small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. The second phase will kick off on October 1 with the following changes:

  • Loans will be provided for purposes other than working capital;
  • Secured loans (i.e. where collateral is presented) will be permitted in addition to unsecured loans;
  • The maximum loan size will increase four-fold to $1 million, up from $250,000 per borrower;
  • The maximum loan term will increase to five years, up from three years; and
  • Lenders will have additional discretion to offer repayment holidays.

If you need help to avail your business of these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Growing Your Network When There are No Networking Events

As a business owner, you may have been part of the typical ways of networking like attending conferences and business networking events. However, with so much of the world in lockdown at the moment, growing your professional connections the traditional way may nto be possible.

While you can build relationships virtually by engaging on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, this insightful Harvard Business Review article shares other strategies to consider including:

  • Turning canceled conferences into private networking opportunities.
  • Rethinking geographic boundaries when creating guest lists for virtual cocktail gatherings.
  • Inviting senior leaders to online working group meetings.

Aside from virtual conferences, sharing your expertise, whether by volunteering, creating online content or courses, or contributing to online communities, can introduce you to new people who need what you offer. If you want to talk about your specific situation and rethink your business strategy, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you work out a plan.

Beware of COVID-19 Scams

Scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to con people into giving their money or confidential personal information. Here are some of the COVID-19 scams to look out for:

  • Scams offering COVID-19 testing, vaccines, or a cure
  • Fake charities
  • “Person in need” scams
  • Scams targeting Social Security benefits

While the reason behind the fraud is new, the tactics are familiar. The best defence is to say No if anyone contacts you asking for your personal information like, bank account or credit card details, or driver’s licence number; someone you don’t know requests money through a payment app or pre-paid gift cards; someone you don’t know sends you a cheque for some reason and asks you to send a portion back; or simply your gut tells you that it is too good to be true or it doesn’t feel right.

It pays to be wary in these situations so please be on the lookout for these scams.

Australian Team Develops Blood Test to Detect COVID-19 in 20 Minutes

A research team led by BioPRIA and Monash University’s chemical engineering department, including researchers from ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent BioNano Science and Technology has successfully developed a blood test that can detect COVID-19 in 20 minutes.

This test will allow medical practitioners to analyse 200-700 blood samples in an hour. Furthermore, it can also aid high-risk countries in contact tracing, as well as vaccine efficacy confirmation during clinical trials and vaccine distribution.

State grants and support programs

Along with national assistance, each state and territory has announced various grants and assistance packages which you may be eligible for. You can find a roundup of these grants on the Government’s Business website. Alternatively, you can also contact us so we can discuss which options are most suitable for your business.

What’s next?

We’ll keep you updated if as we get more news and updates. Now, more than ever, is the time to prepare a budget and cashflow forecast so you’re ready and well prepared for the coming months. We have plenty of tools and resources available for you in our resources section, or reach out to us, we’re here to help.

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