ANCONSULT SERIES: Business Shutdown – What To Do? – Part 3

You’ve dealt with your staff and you shut down your shop – now its time to think about yourself.

The government has covered the problem that you as a sole trader are actually out of a job as well with expanded access to income support payments. This puts all small hospitality owners in the same boat. You have a choice how to support yourself and your family during this testing times – either through Centrelink, through other channels or both.

If you want to receive regular payments until everything is back to normal you will have to stand in line with all the others to apply for Centrelink payments – this is the sad truth (although the “standing in line” is not meant literally, because you can do everything online).

As a Job Seeker you will receive job seeker allowance, depending on your circumstances around $535/fortnight, plus you will get the extra $550 coronavirus supplement on top (from 24 April). There are some other benefits and allowances that will open up for you depending on your circumstances.

If you apply for Job Seeker Payment before 13 April (dates could change) you will receive the first $750 Economic Support Payment that is handed out automatically after 31 March. You don’t need to apply for that – as long as you are registered with Centrelink you will get it automatically.

Now you have the choice to keep working self-employed (or even employed in another industry) because if you earn less than $1,074/fortnight you will still get the $550 payment on top. This will bring your fortnightly money inflow to at least $1,600.

On top of all of that you can now apply for early release of part of your superannuation. $10,000 can be accessed this financial year and another $10,000 after 30 June. Please think about that carefully! Superannuation as it is is already very slim if you want to maintain a basic lifestyle in retirement – only take this measure if you really see no other way.

Last but not least I want to address private loans and mortgages:

Speak to your bank! Give them a bit of time to organise themselves – they are getting inundated with questions and queries since the announcement on 22 March – but go speak to them. They have to be reasonable as long as you are reasonable as well. Nobody will pay any loan for you, but they can help with repayment stop or interest only solutions.