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Insolvency reforms to support small business

The government recognises that despite support to get through the COVID-19 outbreak, not all businesses are going to remain viable.

Many small businesses will have significantly increased levels of debt in order to remain in business during the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is introducing a number of permanent and temporary measures to expand the availability of insolvency practitioners to deal with this expected increase in the number of businesses seeking to restructure or liquidate.

The package of reforms features three key elements:

Debt Restructuring

Currently, requirements around voluntary administration in Australia are more suited to large, complex company insolvencies. The new debt restructuring process will adopt a ‘debtor possession model’ where the business can continue to trade under the control of its owners, while a debt restructuring plan is developed and voted on by creditors.

Liquidation Pathway

The costs of liquidation can consume all or almost all of the remaining value of a small business, leaving little for creditors. Under the government’s new process, regulatory obligations will be simplified, so that they are commensurate to the asset base, complexity and risk profile of an eligible small business.

Temporary Relief Measures Extended

The government announced a further extension of relief measures to 31 December 2020. The

temporary increase in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company from $2,000 to $20,000; and a temporary increase in the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive from 21 days to 6 months. In addition there is a temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, with respect to any debts incurred in the ordinary course of the companies business.

The temporary gives businesses needed breathing space to and highlights the importance of working with financial professionals as soon as required, ensuring that your small business has the best chance of success.

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Small businesses and mental health

Posted on October 22, 2020 by admin

Owning and running a small business often means that you are responsible for most or all of the tasks that need to be completed. Often, owners will find their time being entirely occupied with their business. This can take a toll on their mental health and cause work related stress. Which not only inhibits one’s ability to complete the duties of their role, but also puts them at greater risk of developing mental health conditions.

Keeping work hours in check

Although it is tempting to focus on your business at all times, this can prevent individuals from participating in other activities which are important for physical and mental health. Business owners may feel motivated and enthusiastic to put extra time into their work, however, long work hours have been associated with poorer mental health, fatigue, burnout, worry, and irritability.

Creating a work life balance by setting time limits on work hours might be a necessary precaution at the start. Taking breaks during the work day and setting time aside during the week will be extremely beneficial.

Accessing support

Running a small business can often be isolating as there is rarely someone to share concerns of the business with. This will mean that owners are dealing with all of the issues on their own.

Discussing issues that arise with family or close friends can help reduce the feeling of being isolated. Alternatively, there are groups of small business owners who, and business mentors who may be able to understand and relate to what owners are experiencing, and potentially provide relevant advice.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle can help individuals manage stress and work towards improved mental health. This will also improve the ability to focus and concentrate when working.

Developing good sleeping habits is a great way to kickstart this process. It can also be helpful to try different relaxation techniques such as meditation and exercise is an important start. Remember that this is a trial process, so trying different techniques to find the most effective one is essential.

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