Tech & Science Coronavirus stimulus package 'not enough' to prevent bankruptcy, says Darwin small business owner

07:30  13 march  2020
07:30  13 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Warren Close is an auto-electrician and has seen hard times before. But now he thinks coronavirus will spell the end for his business unless the NT Government and landlords help out.

Small business owners were also forecast to receive payments to tide them over the current Newstart recipients, pensioners and small business owners are expected to benefit from the one-off cash ' Coronavirus concerns alone, some are saying this will lead to a recession or quite a sharp

a man standing in front of a building: Auto-electrician Warren Close (centre), fears the government stimulus package will not keep his business afloat. (Supplied: Monique Close) © Provided by ABC Business Auto-electrician Warren Close (centre), fears the government stimulus package will not keep his business afloat. (Supplied: Monique Close) Auto-electrician Warren Close fears he could be bankrupt within three months because of coronavirus — and the Federal Government stimulus will "not even come close" to keeping his business afloat.

Prestige Automotive NT, which has nine staff, just lost business from a major client that was reliant on China for business.

Plantation Management Partners on Melville Island exports woodchip to China, but this operation has been affected because of coronavirus fears.

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The country's first stimulus package since the 2008 global financial crisis, which helped Australia avert a recession then, illustrates the lengths the The spending was announced after the World Health Organization described the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic for the first time on Wednesday.

Small businesses will be offered wage subsidies to keep their apprentices at work as part of the government’s coronavirus stimulus package . Hundreds of thousands of businesses will also be offered tax-free payments to help pay wages, put on extra staff and prepare against an economic

Mr Close, director of Prestige Automotive, said the phone stopped ringing about a fortnight ago at his Yarrawonga office and he wanted the Northern Territory Government to contribute to the coffers of small businesses, and for landlords to back commercial tenants in economic hardship.

"I think that comes down to people starting to squirrel money away," he told ABC Radio Darwin.

"We've already started prepping for this two weeks ago. That's probably a little bit smarter than a few people I've spoken to."

'Doesn't come close'

Mr Close said the Federal Government's $17.6 billion coronavirus stimulus package — including small business tax relief, and money to help keep apprentices in work — will not be enough.

"Because at the end of the day they might be offering a one-off $25,000 payment, but our wage bill and cost of running is probably $70,000 a month," he said.

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“The thing with our business is we have to educate a lot of people about what we’re doing,” Beauchamp-Tardieu says . “In 2019 we were bringing awareness,” she explains. Coronavirus stimulus package ' not enough ' to prevent bankruptcy , says Darwin small business owner .

"By the time you pay superannuation on apprentices, insure them, pay all the ongoing costs, their TAFE, and everything else, [the stimulus] is not even close."

Mr Close said the business, which employed three apprentices, had stopped spending money.

He had discussed his position with his creditors, banks, the apprenticeship board, and other interests.

Mr Close called on the NT Government to "put its hand in its pocket".

"Maybe that GST money should go to small businesses, if and when we are isolated or have any issues," he said.

"This will come down to landlords in Darwin as well, whether they're prepared to back us, and that we'll be there on the other side.

"As a small business, if we were shut down for a month we're in trouble. The second month, we're really, really in trouble. Third month, we're bankrupt. So it's pretty serious. That's how small business works."

Not spending money

Mr Close said the Darwin 4WD, Boating & Camping Expo in June was a major event in the business's calendar.

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A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold. A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E

"We normally start prepping for the 4WD show about now and it's probably about a $20,000 cost to upgrade a whole lot of gear to send to that show," he said.

"We are squirrelling that money away just in case we are struggling for wages."

A NT Department of Trade, Business and Innovation spokesperson said the NT Government released a $2 million tourism resilience plan on February 10 in response to coronavirus.

"The Northern Territory Government has taken action by releasing one round of economic stimulus already, and we are working hard on a second round of economic support," the spokesperson said.

"We are considering a range of options to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19.

"The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation's Small Business Champions team are on the ground to provide support to businesses as needed, they can be contacted on 1800 193 111.

"The Northern Territory Government have released a $2 million Immediate Tourism Resilience Plan to minimise the impact of COVID-19 and maintain momentum with attracting more visitors to the NT.

"Funding will be directed to tourism marketing and industry initiatives."

Landlords working with tenants

Executive director of the NT Property Council, Ruth Palmer, said her organisation supported the Federal Government's stimulus.

"Landlords are working with their tenants where there have been issues, and I have been working with landlords who are seeking advice," she said.

"What we are seeing here from the Federal Government is a normal response. It happened down south in bushfire-affected parts of Australia which we saw recently.

"There will be some tough times ahead for big business and small business. We're all in this together and the impacts over the coming months are far from clear."

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Payments to job seekers doubled, help for small businesses .
The Morrison government has announced a series of measures to help casual workers, sole traders, retirees and those on income support as part of its second $66 billion stimulus package in the face of the coronavirus. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said since announcing the first $17.6 billion package 10 days ago the global and domestic economic environment has deteriorated. "We now expect the economic shock to be deeper, wider and longer," Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra today.

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