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SME owners impacted by coronavirus urged to contact creditors

SME owners concerned about the coronavirus outbreak impacting their cash flow are being urged to talk to their creditors as soon as possible.

Earlier this month the RBA cut the official cash rate by 25 basis points to a new record low of 0.50% due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global financial markets.

And as the economic ripple effects of the coronavirus start to hit Australian businesses, financial and consumer law firm MyCRA Lawyers says the repercussions of not meeting loan repayments in a timely fashion could impact businesses for five years.

“The risk of an extended and prolonged economic downturn is real and affecting the entire economy,” says MyCRA Lawyer’s CEO Graham Doessel.

“The problem is even though the tourists and customers may have stopped, the bills won’t stop and that can mean defaults on people’s credit files.”

Mr Doessel says as soon as you are 14 days or more late in making a loan repayment it can go on your comprehensive credit file for two years.

“This will impact your ability to access credit,” Mr Doessel says.

“[If you] get a default or a court judgement on your file you will be feeling the financial symptoms of coronavirus for five years.”

What to do if your business is affected

Mr Doessel says if your business is struggling to meet its bills you should contact your creditors straight away and apply for hardship.

“Most lenders have a positive obligation to offer hardship in genuine cases. If you have seen your cash flow decimated due to coronavirus, reach out to your creditors and ask for some breathing room,” Mr Doessel says.

“Whatever you do, do not stick your head in the sand, because you can’t hide from your financial obligations.”

Mr Doessel adds that lenders and companies like Telstra, Optus, AGL and Origin Energy have hardship policies for genuine victims of circumstances beyond their control.

“Anyone who finds themselves financially affected by the virus should make a list of their bills and contact each credit provider – in writing if possible – to let them know the circumstances and to check no bills have gone unpaid,” he said.

“Most companies have the discretion to forgive a debt in extreme cases.”

Businesses impacted by the bushfires

The coronavirus outbreak comes as many Australian businesses are still reeling from bushfires.

Indeed, a NAB survey has found that two-thirds of Australian SMEs have been directly or indirectly impacted by the recent bushfires, with business disruption, higher insurance, and lower customer confidence cited as key factors.

“We know that many families and businesses face an uncertain future and we recognise the significant impact the fires have had on cash flow, loss of customers and supplier disruption,” says NAB Chief Customer Officer of Business and Private Banking Anthony Healy.

We’re here to help

There’s no doubt many Australian businesses are doing it tough right now – whether that’s because of the coronavirus outbreak or the summer bushfires.

If yours is one of them, please get in touch with Geoff, Chris or Jess at Make Finance on 02 6021 6600 . We’re ready to assist you in any way we can and will work through your available options with you.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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The staff at MAKE Finance Group are experienced and dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional levels of advice and service.

As a full service finance broker, we can save you time and stress as we negotiate with Banks and Financiers on your behalf. Whether it is asset or equipment finance, business finance and advice or even a home loan, we will go to the market on your behalf and find the best possible deal available.

Let us worry about the financials, as we make it happen for you.

Why Partner with Us?

The staff at MAKE Finance Group are experienced and dedicated to providing our clients with exceptional levels of advice and service.

MAKE Finance Group holds sought after commercial lending accreditations and access to a substantial panel of lenders for both Equipment and Business Finance.

As a finance broker MAKE Finance Group saves you time and stress as we negotiate with Banks and Financiers on your behalf. This allows you to keep focused on your business while we do the finance work.

This ensures you receive the best offers with the objective of saving money and increasing profitability.

Testimonials

Here is what a couple of our clients have said about MAKE Finance Group.
  • Geoff at MAKE Finance Group made the process of purchasing an investment property a seamless process. Thanks for your patience Geoff. I would highly recommend Geoff and his team at MAKE for all your finance needs. Cathy, Warrnambool

  • Geoff and the team at MAKE Finance were unbelievably helpful when we needed to refinance our business loan. After a stressful and confusing ordeal with our existing lender, Geoff made re-financing so easy, and it tool very little work from our end to sort everything out. We are so happy with everything sorted and not having to worry about our finance arrangements. We would encourage anyone with any financing needs to go and see Geoff and the team at MAKE Finance, thanks Geoff! Philip and Jenni, Holbrook

  • Thank you to the team at MAKE Finance Group, for helping me purchase my first truck. I cannot thank them enough as they went above and beyond all my expectations and made the whole process easy and stress free, I would highly recommend them to anyone. Rob, Canberra

  • Applying for a business loan (direct through a Bank) was becoming a stressful and difficult task for us as everything had to be discussed over the phone followed by numerous paperwork. Geoff at MAKE Finance Group was our savior. Your personalised service made the application for our business loan & business vehicle loan so easy. We now operate a very successful business & we could not have done this without you. We love your work! Lloyd & Kristy Franchisee of Jim’s Mowing Wodonga East

  • “MAKE Finance Group were an absolute pleasure to deal with. Right from the very beginning, even when we were just asking questions as to how home loans work and how much we could afford, they made the process incredibly easy and put everything into terms that we could understand. There’s a lot involved with buying your first home, but it felt effortless with the superb help from both Jess & Geoff. MAKE Finance Group definitely come highly recommend from us – thanks guys!” Sophie & Zach, Albury

  • “Buying a new car was a big deal for me as I had a very strong love for my only car of 10 years.  I approached MAKE Finance Group to help me source a loan for my new car, and they made me feel 100% positive about making the change, as the process that they followed to obtain the loan was flawless. They came to me which I hugely appreciated, everything was in order and all follow ups and questions were answered without hesitation. I cannot recommend them enough for their professional and friendly service.” Stephanie, Albury

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