Responding to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak – How to mitigate risk as a business

12 March 2020

With the recent developments of the novel Coronavirus rapidly affecting businesses across Australia and the world, SV Partners is committed to responding with an informed, level-headed approach which takes into consideration our employees, clients and the greater community.

The Australian Government expects the measures in response to the outbreak to exceed $1 billion and the likely effects to have wider ramifications across businesses and communities for some time, with a predicted $34 billion wiped from Australian GDP this year as reported by PricewaterhouseCoopers economists.

Recently in Australia there have been a number of businesses affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Moving forward, it is likely that many more will experience similar challenges such as supply shortages, cash flow issues, loss of trade and changes to working arrangements for staff resulting in disruption of operations.

As this is an evolving situation, it is advised that businesses closely monitor Government sources for current information and heed advice from state and territory government agencies.

Being proactive as a business

SV Partners believes it is paramount that businesses take immediate action to develop an emergency contingency plan to mitigate business disruption and financial loss for both immediate and future threats. It is important to identify all potential risks you may be exposed to during such a time and develop a robust plan to ensure business continuity throughout.

Businesses are urged to take into consideration the likelihood of occurrence, the degree of impact and develop suitable responses to address these concerns and assist in minimising the effects. Review of your organisation’s policies is critical in order to establish a framework to deal with a crisis and assist in implementing an effective plan.

It is vital that the company maintains clear lines of communication with clients, employees, suppliers, financiers and all other key stakeholders concerning the situation. It’s also essential to communicate any changes to organisational policies, have a solid contingency plan in place to manage changes to staff working arrangements and clearly inform employees of their responsibilities during such a time.

What to do if you or your client’s business is impacted

In moments of crisis, it is important to remain agile by actively monitoring, assessing and adjusting the response to the situation. This can seem overwhelming but there are options and help is available.

A cash flow forecast will assist in determining the financial outlook of a business and help to recognise where shortfalls may occur, assisting to identify a path for moving forward. During times of financial difficulty, maintaining communication with banks, lenders and the ATO is vital. Seek repayment options with suppliers if necessary and ensure commitment to meeting the terms negotiated to avoid further hardship.

Seeking professional advice is vital if you or your clients are experiencing financial hardship. SV Partners can provide a free consultation to address concerns, assess the situation and put an action plan in place to help mitigate further loss.

 

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1800 246 801