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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
Morning, We are a heavy manufacturing business that has not operated during lock down.  We have reduced a lot of our expenses, including our own wage to almost minimum wage, our staff reduce to a 80% working week when we return. We have arranged with some suppliers to spread payments over 3 months, have reduced rent for March.  But this is not enough and we are forecasting we will not have enough income to pay our expenses, due to the shut down period.  We have forecast it has set us back 3/4 months We have approached our bank regarding the Business Finance Guarantee scheme to help with the loss of income over the lock down to cover the expenses we are occurring while in lock down. Our bank has informed us they would lean money but it would be secured against our family home first. The thought of losing our family home is hard to bare; We have worked hard to have a small mortgage making a lot of personal scarifies to achieve this.  The scheme seems to me is a wolf in sheep clothing. How are other business managing cash flow without loaning money?How are you paying the occurring expenses while not generating any income while in lockdown?What should we pay first? What steps should we be taking?  We have approached our accountant, their advice was1.      Contact your bank2.      Reduce staff How do we get good honest advice to what we need to be looking at?  Thanks

Question submitted 22/04/20 @ 12:06pm
Industry: COVID-19 Funding & Support
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  • Kia Ora – I should get a bank to come on and comment! Look, while many of us don’t like the terms that the banks are offering around security and personal guarantees, I suppose it is their money, so they can do what they want with it if we all want it!

    Lets be constructive however, what can you do given you have done a lot already, well done by the way. (1) look at all fixed costs, and see what can be done to reduce them further, and/or get holidays on them – telco, utility, tax payments, landlord etc – and approach all of your suppliers to ask for support for a period of time to get you through, ideally some total reductions and/or if not that then furloughs ie holidays – it is amazing what can be done, and maybe some more tough calls on what you really can do without (2) rethink your staff costs – personally I don’t like the ideal of reducing head-count, and most team members don’t either, so think about further reductions or what can be done to get through, there might be some team members who are prepared to go on leave or delay payments to help everyone get through – I get that most team members maybe on the wage subsidy for now (3) keep plugging at the banks (4) hope for some more relief in the next couple of weeks (5) would any clients, customers be prepared to pay you upfront for work (6) can you collaborate with anyone to get some work in – no major brigthspots sorry there, Andy

    Hi

    You are not alone first and foremost. The ability of a bank to request additional funding is in my view a flawed system in these circumstances- the UK government changed their system immediately when they realised the bank’s were effectively double insured for the risk, first from company and guarantors, and then from the government- but that unfortunately is the situation we are in.

    You seem to have done a lot in a short period of time and great to here your primary suppliers are supportive, but the reality is, that if you don’t have enough cash to go around then a more drastic alternative might be needed.

    There is currently a Company Compromise option that you could consider – which is effectively a deal your offer ur creditors to defer payment over day a year to ease cashflow constraints. And shortly we will have the Debt Hibernation Scheme, but I think that is still a few weeks if not months from being formalised.

    My best advice would be to seek advice from an accredited insolvency practitioner who can guide you through the options and who are experienced in all restructuring options – experts for exactly this situation.

    Accredited practitioners can be found here https://www.ritanz.org.nz/search?firm=&surname=&city=&status=2

    You will find me on that list / connect with me if you would like once you have done some research.

    A couple of further thoughts, which you may already have looked into. It’s not clear from your comments but I assume you will have applied for (and received?) the wage subsidy. Also, if you are in a tax paying position for the year ending 31 March 2020, your situation seems to be such that you may defer the business’ income tax payment due on 7 May without suffering penalties or interest, and the same should also be the case if you have GST due on 7 May.

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