The COVID-19 wage subsidy is over – what next?

With the country returning to Level 1 COVID-19 alert, but for Auckland, restrictions are again minimal, domestically. International opportunities remain distant or inaccessible and appear to remain so for the foreseeable future. The Government provided financial support during the more restrictive period, principally in the wage subsidy, but now that it has ended*, what’s next for businesses operating in this changed environment?

Questions to consider

At current alert levels, there has been another re-start of operations and as they get underway and with the benefit of recent experience, these questions should be addressed.

Do I remain committed to my business and am I prepared for the hard work and uncertainty of operating in the current climate?

If not, what are my options?

If I am, what are the five most important actions I need to take to readjust, ready the business and commence operating post alert levels? What have I learned under restrictions that I need to put in place going forward?

For staff, how are they feeling about their roles in the business and what are their plans and direction? Are staff levels appropriate, and more importantly, properly skilled?

What are my customers’ needs, how have they changed and what do I need to do to satisfy them?

With a cleaner outlook and direction from having addressed these issues, the next steps include

Putting together a business plan, containing the plans and changes you’ve identified as being required.

Identifying the costs and funding requirements needed and applying for external funding, either with Government support or on your own.

Communicate with key stakeholders your plans and actions, and obtain their support.

Set up your reporting mechanisms to provide feedback on your actions and identify where tweaks and changes are required.

The challenge to contend with, especially as a small business, is finding the time to attend to these steps and run the business. This is a common dilemma. Getting external helps also comes at a cost, but it may well be money well spent. Although funding can be sought through the Regional Business Partner Network (up to $2500 in the Wellington region), you do need to identify where you need to obtain support – marketing and sales, human resources and employment, cash flow and financial management, legal support or training. (MTM Accounting are registered as a provider in the cash flow and training area).

Other external support, including contract arrangement of fixed duration or other external resources could also be useful. Having a preliminary conversation with us to review where you’re at may prove a useful step to get you underway, so get in touch if you feel we can help you.

*Financial support remains in some programs, including the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme and the Small Business Cash Flow Loan Scheme, both ending 31 Dec 2020, and for companies the Business Debt Hibernation Scheme.

Contact us today for your no-obligation consultation.