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Carrying Small Businesses Through COVID-19

Natira Drayton, Vice President and Country Manager, Intuit Australia

This is undoubtedly one of the toughest times small businesses will face. Two-thirds (63%) already report a significant impact from COVID-19 and 82 per cent are worried about their business’s profitability in the coming months – and it’s still early days.

We recently partnered with YouGov to take the pulse of our small business community and found that forty per cent of small businesses who have taken a hit said revenue has dropped by half or more in the past one to two months. Small business owner’s main concerns right now are cashflow, the viability of your business, retaining customers and the health and wellbeing of your employees.

Our research revealed one in four small businesses (26%) won’t be taking any action or still don’t know what action to take at all. To small business owners, we say it’s alright to feel unsure.

Here are some quick tips for businesses to navigate this uncertainty:

  1. Get the Government relief you need – Quickly check your eligibility for any government stimulus assistance. Your accountant or advisor, government websites, or the QuickBooks hub can help. The government stimulus support announced in three separate packages totaling $214 billion will go a long way, in particular thanks to direct wage subsidies for small businesses. More than two-thirds (71%) of small businesses told us that government assistance or tax benefits would best help them keep their business open, so if you’re in this position – you’re not alone.
  2. Take your business online –  Think about whether there are opportunities to deliver your services digitally. Your customers are stuck at home and looking for ways to stay in touch with their favourite local business – there’s never been a better time to develop your online presence.
  3. Take advantage of digital tools –  Take advantage of business tools that allow you to work from anywhere, anytime. Cloud accounting software providers, including QuickBooks Online, enables small businesses to easily access support from the government, such as the JobKeeper Payment.
  4. Ask the experts – Ask for advice from your accountant or bookkeeper if you haven’t already, or use the QuickBooks portal to find one near you. They can help guide you and your business as you make your way through these difficult times and look to boost your resilience on the other side.
  5. Support your community through Go Fund Me –  Start a GoFundMe page. As a global business, Intuit has made an US $8 million-dollar contribution to support consumers, small businesses and communities impacted by COVID-19. Our local and international staff are able to start or select an existing GoFundMe supporting a small business facing COVID 19-related financial loss and Intuit will donate on their behalf.

At Intuit QuickBooks we believe it’s absolutely critical that we all play our role to support small businesses at this time. Small businesses comprise 96% of all companies registered with ASIC and their success is critically important to the Australian economy. It’s why we’re stepping up with financial support, new product integrations to help you access government benefits, and educational resources, like this step-by-step guide to access the JobKeeper Payment.

These are tough times – the toughest some of us may ever see. It’s OK to feel uncertain or reach out for help. With each of us playing our part we will cushion the blow and help carry Australia’s small businesses through.

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