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COVID-19 - What small businesses can do now

COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on small businesses. Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell talks about some of the things small businesses can do now to help their business stay afloat during this difficult time.

Ms Carnell talks about the importance of doing a cash flow budget and talking to your suppliers, bank, landlord and the Australian Taxation Office about payments. It is also the time to consider staff and what they can contribute to your business.

Get help

Help for small businesses in regional areas

The Australian Government has committed more than $4.7 million to provide small regional businesses affected by COVID-19 with access to free and confidential financial counselling.

Learn more about small business financial counselling on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website.

Help for individuals

If you need help with your personal or family finances, free support is available at the National Debt Helpline. You can speak to a financial counsellor to get advice.

See the National Debt Helpline's guide on steps to take and where to find support for individuals.

Set up a cash flow statement


A cash flow statement tracks all the money flowing in and out of your business. In these challenging times, it can help you identify a reduction in your cash flow early.

Use our cash flow statement template.

Talk to your creditors


Speaking to your creditors can help prevent late penalties and give you details on the hardship provisions they have.

Your bank may be able to help you in a number of ways including:

  • deferring loan payments
  • waiving fees and charges
  • helping with debt consolidation

Contact your bank's financial hardship team.

Read our tips on managing debt, from assessing your financial situation through to getting help.

Create a budget


Creating or updating your budget will tell you how to direct your money to where it's needed most and help you to:

  • prioritise any debt you have
  • make business decisions
  • get finance

Use our template to help you create a budget.

Learn about tax support


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is providing relief for certain tax obligations for taxpayers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about the available tax support and where to get help.

Check for government assistance


The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. Check if you're eligible for government financial support.

If you’re a sole trader or you employ people, learn what your business can get.

Want more?

Find grants and support in your state or territory.

Learn more about exporting and coronavirus.