Aussie retailers urged to ‘act now’ in wake of coronavirus

Australian retailers should take swift action to protect their business from the impact of the coronavirus, is the advice from insolvency and business recovery specialist, Jirsch Sutherland. The firm has set up a coronavirus hotline – 1300 547 724 – for business owners and directors seeking guidance.

“There are solutions and processes for business owners who want to know how they can protect their business,” Jirsch Sutherland national managing partner, Bradd Morelli said.

“It’s unknown how long the coronavirus threat will be around, but it will have a lasting effect on many businesses. Fixed costs such as wages, rent, utilities, financing costs and statutory liabilities are not affected but the anticipated downturn in revenue will have a huge impact on working capital and businesses may find themselves suffering cashflow issues. If this occurs, business operations should seek assistance immediately to try and minimise the impact.”

And it’s not just the drop in customer and sales numbers that is of concern, it is also the threat to supply chains for products made in or supplied via China.

“The closure of factories and transport links for any period of time will inevitably lead to massive disruption and supply issues once existing stocks are exhausted,” Morelli said.

“Speaking with a Jirsch Sutherland expert is one way to prepare for the impending financial fallout. We urge business owners and directors to call us at the first sign of cashflow stress. We can provide information and guidance on options – whether that is Safe Harbour (for protection against civil liability), Voluntary Administration (to continue to trade while insolvent), standstill agreement or business rescue (restructure). We can also implement options which include informal and formal engagements.”

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