Adapting to a different 'business as usual'

It’s clear that COVID-19 has caused significant changes to our business environment. It will take time for normal conditions to return, and many businesses may need to adapt to a new normal.

Whether you’re trying to get by, rebuild your business, move into something different, or continue to be financially impacted by COVID-19, an effective strategy is to take stock of your situation and have a plan.

This article outlines the key things that might be helpful to consider as part of your plan to adapt to the new business environment, along with an overview of some of the support available.

Sources of help

Help from your bank

For any business struggling financially there may be support available from your bank. For example, options like home and business loan deferrals, a temporary business overdraft and access to additional finance. If you’re an ANZ customer, you can check out our support options (these options are subject to our lending criteria, eligibility, fees, terms and conditions).

Help from the government

Details about the Government’s relief package and what you might be eligible for are outlined on the Unite against COVID-19  site.

The Government has also put in place tax initiatives that may help businesses through COVID-19, to help with immediate tax compliance and cash flow. For more information, see IRD assistance for business and organisations.

Government assistance will be subject to the Government’s eligibility criteria, terms and conditions. Below you’ll find links to more information on some of the Government relief packages available. You should take professional advice on the best option for your business. Please also see the Important Information at the end of this update.

Help from your advisers

Ask your business network (professional advisers and mentors) to support you to build a plan of your business’s cash and capital needs over the coming 6-12 months.

Ten questions to ask yourself

Here are some of the things you may want to consider as part of your COVID-19 planning.

What are the expected financial impacts on your business over the next six months?

Things to think about

  • How is your business impacted at the different restriction levels?
  • Will there be ongoing impacts on your business from border closures or social distancing measures?
  • What might a return to more normal business look like over 2-3 years?

Consider what assumptions you are making in answering these questions.

What help is available

You can no longer apply for the Government Wage Subsidy Extension. A temporary loss carry-back scheme has been introduced to support customers. Businesses expecting to make a loss in either the 2020 year or the 2021 year can use that loss to offset profits they made the year before. For more information, visit the COVID-19 Temporary loss carry-back scheme page  on the IRD site.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is also available for employers, including self-employed people, to help pay their employees who need to self-isolate and can't work from home. 

Have you identified whether you’ll need additional funding, and do you have a plan to repay this?

Things to think about

Have you forecast your cash flow to support your answer to this question?

What are the key assumptions behind this? (timing of alert level changes, staffing levels etc.)

How are you actively managing your cash?

What help is available

Low value assets (<$5,000) purchased in the current 2021 tax year may be taken as immediate tax deductions. This $5000 threshold applies to assets purchased on or after 17 March 2020 to 16 March 2021. From 17 March 2021, the threshold is reduced to $1,000. See the IRD website for more information.

There’s also information about your obligations for the health and safety of your staff on the Government’s website for businesses operating at different alert levels.

What additional measures could you take?

Things to think about

Can you reduce your operating expenses? (For example, reduced or deferred costs, distribution)

Can you access potential additional sources of income and/or capital?

What help is available

Talk to your business advisors, lawyers and accountants to look critically at your operating expenses.

If you’re an ANZ customer, contact us if you need to discuss additional capital requirements.

Are there options that could provide time and space to manage your obligations while you focus on your business?

Things to think about

Do you need more time to pay your creditors whilst you adapt your business model?

What help is available

Other than the options available through ANZ outlined elsewhere in this article, there is also Business Debt Hibernation (BDH). This is a government initiative created to help various entities affected by COVID-19 to manage debts.

What is your (or your shareholder’s) commitment to ongoing support?

Things to think about

Can you contribute funds to the business or reduce distributions to owners while running the business during this time of uncertainty?

What help is available

Your bank may be able to assist with reducing personal obligations through loan repayment deferral or providing early withdrawal of Term Deposit funds. If you’re an ANZ customer, contact us to discuss your options.

Are your Bank debt repayments placing a significant drain on your cash flow?

Things to think about

There may be options for restructuring existing debt to reduce the cash outflow temporarily.

Reducing or deferring repayments will result in the overall cost of borrowings increasing but can provide immediate cash flow savings.

What help is available

Contact your bank to discuss your options. If you’re an ANZ customer, contact us.

If you rent your business premises, are there options for rental relief?

Things to think about

Have you looked at options available under the terms of the lease or requested relief from your landlord?     

What help is available

Talk to your landlord and lawyer about the terms of your agreement and whether you can get a rent reduction or abatement for a period of time while you are getting back on track.

What staffing levels will you need during or after COVID-19 restrictions?

Things to think about

Think about what you are likely to need now and in six months’ time to continue your business.

Have your plans changed enough that you may need to reduce, or increase, the number of staff you employ?

What help is available

If you have fewer than 100 staff you may qualify for funded advice on Human Resource decisions through the Regional Business Partner Network.

Do you have the right business insurance in place?

Things to think about

Speak to your insurance broker about business continuity, disruption, liability and even cyber exposures that may have changed over the last few months.

What help is available

If you're an ANZ customer and need an independent review of your insurance position, contact us and we can put you in touch with our insurance partner Crombie Lockwood.

How do you need to adapt your business to reflect potential changes in customer demand, or additional health and safety requirements during COVID-19 alert levels?

Things to think about

Is it possible to change your business model, or adapt what you do, to meet a new consumer demand?

What help is available

An immediate tax deduction can be taken for low value assets (<$5,000) purchased on or after 17 March 2020 to 16 March 2021. From 17 March 2021, the low-value asset threshold for depreciation will be reduced to $1,000. See the IRD website for more information.

For more information

From overseas: +64 9 523 7220

Important information

ANZ lending and eligibility criteria, fees, terms and conditions apply to our products.

This material is for information purposes only and is subject to change. The content of this material is intended to be of a general nature, does not take into account your financial situation or goals, and is not a personalised financial adviser service under the Financial Advisers Act 2008. Some services described in this material are supplied by third parties.  ANZ does not warrant the quality of the services described, or the suitability for your particular circumstances.  You should seek professional advice relevant to your individual circumstances.  While ANZ has taken care to ensure that this information is from reliable sources, it cannot warrant its accuracy, completeness or suitability for your intended use.  ANZ does not warrant or guarantee the availability, security or accuracy of third party websites described in this material. To the extent permitted by law, ANZ does not accept any responsibility or liability arising from your use of this information or any third party services.

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