For many small business owners, the news that JobKeeper will now run until March 2021 has come as a welcome relief. The $1,500 a fortnight wage subsidy has supported around 3.5 million workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previously slated to end in September 2020, this extension comes with tougher new rules about who qualifies for the subsidy. Under the original scheme, a business had to prove a drop in turnover of between 30-50% to be eligible, or 15% for not-for-profits.
Businesses will now have more frequent turnover-reporting requirements to prove ongoing financial distress, with the overhauled scheme also offering two payment tiers.
Employee Matters founder and managing director Natasha Hawker says SME owners need to prepare now for the ‘September cliff’ when these stricter regulations take effect.
“In my view there is a ‘bloodbath’ looming and many business owners don’t seem to be willing to face up to this,” Hawker tells SmartCompany.
“Many truly believe that they will be able to get out of this mess. They are optimists by nature and necessity.
For many though, the harsh reality is that they have minimal or zero income coming in… the question is how long can they hang on for — with debts mounting daily.”
So how can businesses start proactively positioning themselves to survive the end of JobKeeper? Hawker has four best-practice tips to share.
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