Government subsidies such as JobKeeper were swiftly put into place to sandbag the devastation of the COVID-19 impact but Tuesday’s Budget could be just the opportunity you need to thrive to meet the economic tidal wave that follows.
The weaning off JobKeeper support for thousands of Australian SMEs started this week (although the impact won’t really be felt by many until after the last deposit is made into their bank account by the ATO in the next week or so). Most SMEs will have been consumed by the following three key questions:
Did my revenue drop by enough to continue to qualify for JobKeeper (30% for both the June and September quarters)?
Do I qualify after September by using one of the alternative tests (and how do I interpret them)?
What does the next 12 months look like without it (and what scenarios are going to hit me first and hardest)?
What makes the last question difficult to answer for you as the owner and investor of your own SME are two key things:
The lack of visibility in the weeks and months ahead. Honestly, anything’s possible. There is no crystal ball here, no PlayBook and no-one who can truthfully say they’ve been there and this is how you navigate through something like this
Your confidence levels in your own ability to duck and weave to meet the challenging trading conditions that are undoubtedly ahead and lead those who rely upon you through this. Every business owner I’ve spoken to this week feels bruised, uncertain, risk-averse to varying degrees.
And yet…the Federal Budget being handed down this Tuesday is full of promise. It’s hard to process what’s happened since May when the Budget was due to be delivered as it is every year. Since then, it’s had plenty of time to think about what it can bring to the recovery party. It’s had time to think about what was best, deliver what it believed was going to prop up as many businesses and jobs as possible, refine on the go (the beauty of collecting data and using this to inform and influence policy in real-time), refine, and then go again, building momentum for the big day on Tuesday.
This Budget will be one of the most anticipated in history. It can’t disappoint those of us who put everything on the line in building a SME, the way we sacrifice our time with family, put off our earning potential, risk our reputations, all to bring an organisation to life that we believe in an idea big enough to employ others along the way.
The last few Budgets have been disappointing for SMEs. There’s no other way of putting it. This one…this one will be different. It has to be. So if you survived COVID-19 and are ready for thrival, what will you do with what this Budget hands to you to ensure we all benefit in the years ahead? Everyone’s counting on us.
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