Financial support

Find out how business owners are keeping up-to-date with support measures from the government and banks. 

"You've got to have great support around you.  I rely heavily on the expertise of those around me - my suppliers, bank manager, financial planner, lawyer, and hairdresser!"

-Christine, Chorus Executive and Peeplcoach, Melbourne

"It helps to have a very switched-on accountant, my banker at CommBank has been great throughout the pandemic and being part of the Motor Traders Association takes a fair bit of the pressure off."

-Peter, Kennedy’s Auto Repairs, Nowra

Image of business owner Barry from Coffs Harbour

Barry's story: financial support

Barry started his accounting firm in Coffs Harbour in 2002. Today he manages a team of 5 while running the business and taking care of clients from a wide range of industries. 

"Keeping up to date with financial support was not only a matter of survival for our business, but also for our clients. It’s my job to make sure that no one miss out on something they could be eligible for.

Getting across all the support available was challenging at first because there were so many announcements. The first thing was to go through the Treasury factsheets, ATO website and updates from my industry body. We really worked as a team to stay across all of it.

What I’ve also seen is that you really need to have your books up to date and on a cloud-based accounting system. Those on the front foot have been able to access support from government and banks more easily and quickly than those who haven’t."

Barry Hockey, Barry Hockey Accountants, Coffs Harbour

Financial support tools and resources

Benefits Finder

CommBank customers can find and apply for business and personal benefits, rebates and concessions through Benefits Finder on the CommBank app.

Go to Benefits Finder

CommBank Coronavirus support page

For the latest Coronavirus CommBank and government support, visit the dedicated Coronavirus support hub.

Go to Coronavirus support page

Government updates

For the latest official Coronavirus news, updates and advice from the Australian Government, visit their dedicated website.

Go to government updates

Financial difficulty

We have a range of support available for customers in financial difficulty.

Get financial difficulty help

Workplace changes

Public health advice has changed the usual operation of many businesses. Here’s how some business owners have adapted.

"We do contactless delivery, which I think has really shaped how our business works and how we're going to be able to deliver for years to come."

 -Nip, GG’s Flowers & Hampers, Canberra

"We only see one patient at a time. Team members are always wearing a mask. We pre-screen patients, take their temperatures, have sanitisers in place, and use antibacterial mouthwash."

-Dr Patel, Timeless Smiles Dental, Pennant Hills

Image of business owner Melanie from Melbourne

Melanie's story: workplace changes

Melanie and her husband own and operate Kevlec Group –an electrician and property services company in Melbourne. They have grown their business steadily over the last 10 years and now employ 8 technicians and an apprentice.

"When Coronavirus hit, we had to re-assess, reprioritise and redistribute work amongst as our employees and contractors to keep them employed. The biggest predicament for us was, is it safe for our workers and customers? We care about their wellbeing.

We’ve had to train our tradies to social distance, wear masks and constantly sanitise. We had to stop car-pooling which is more expensive for us but just something we have to do.

Telling customers that we comply with the regulations has helped them feel comfortable. We have a lot of elderly and vulnerable customers, so we need to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make sure they’re safe."

Melanie, Kevlec Group, an electrical and property services company, Melbourne

Workplace changes tools and resources

Latest government info for businesses

Read the latest information for businesses from the Australian government 

Find Coronavirus info and support

How to take your business online

If you’ve been considering how best to move your business online, there are a few things to consider before making the leap. 

Read How to take your business online article

Want help choosing the right eCommerce platform? 

Now that you’ve decided to take your business online, selecting the right eCommerce platform among the many out there is a key part of the puzzle. 

Read article about eCommerce options

Managing cash flow

Keeping on top of cash flow is always top of mind for business owners, especially in the current environment. See how others are managing.

"We’ve integrated our accounting software with NetBank so I’m on top of our daily position and I know what's going on in the accounts."

Melanie, Kevlec Group, electrical and home services, Melbourne

"It is critical to know exactly what your cash flow position is. For me, my accountant is critical.  From a business management perspective it is important to have a robust forecasting and expense management process."

-Christine, Chorus Executive and Peeplcoach, Melbourne

Image of business owner Peter from Nowra

Peter's story: cash flow

Kennedy’s Auto Repairs started 45 years ago in Nowra on the New South Wales south coast. Peter started as a manager in 1993 and became the owner in 2012. Today he manages 8 employees and has a loyal customer base in the community.

"Some of our customers we’ve had since the ‘70s when we first opened, and it's a bit of a joke around town that once you start working at Kennedy’s, you don't leave.

Bushfires impacted our business heavily and then we rolled straight into Coronavirus but we’ve gotten through it by changing how we do things. 

We have an ageing customer base and many people needed to get their cars serviced, but were afraid to leave their homes. So we created a new contactless pick-up and drop-off process so we could keep doing business safely.  

As well as adapting our services, this year has really brought how we manage cash flow to the forefront. I now check my cash flow position daily and take more notice of where we could be saving. I’ve also spoken with some larger customers and shortened payment windows from 30 to 7 days to better manage cash flow."

Peter, Kennedy's Auto Repairs, Nowra

Cash flow tools and resources

Cash flow videos

Learn more about managing your cash flow with our latest video series.

Watch cash flow videos

Daily IQ - free insights tools

Daily IQ is a free business insights tool for eligible CommBank business customers that can help optimise cash flow.

Go to Daily IQ

How to manage your cash flow

See our 10 top tips for managing cash flow.

Read cash flow tips article

Smart alerts

Set up alerts for your Business Transaction Account and know if your balance is low, high, overdrawn or if you've just been paid.

Go to Smart alerts

Changing customer behaviour

Consumer behaviour and spending has shifted across industries and locations. Customers have different expectations and business owners have responded in innovative ways. 

"We sent customers a text message letting them know we had safety measures in place to reassure them our practice was safe. Staying connected to my patients and proactively communicating was a very high priority."

 -Dr Patel, Timeless Smiles, Sydney

"There are fewer flower options due to supply issues so we ask our customers to trust us to put together a beautiful arrangement with the available options. Delivery has just taken off and everyone will happily pay $10 for delivery to not leave the house."

 -Nip, GG’s Flowers & Hampers, Canberra

Image of business owner Christine from Melbourne

Christine's story: changing customer behaviour

Christine has run Chorus Executive for 20 years, her executive coaching and recruitment company based out of Melbourne. In 2018, she established Peeplcoach – an online career coaching service, which is disrupting the coaching industry ensuring that coaching is accessible to anyone, anytime.

"At the beginning of Coronavirus, new business disappeared overnight. Literally, investment in coaching, training and development stopped overnight. As a team, we spent a lot of time working out how we could continue to support our customers and adding value to them. Personally, I used that time to be very creative - to problem solve, to talk to customers, to pivot a little bit, to create new products.  I am excited about what the future brings.

I’ve been doing a lot of qualitative research - deep diving with our customers, understanding what they need, what their problems are and then being open enough to change our processes and our product to suit them. You can’t be too precious, you need to listen to what the customer wants and adapt."

Christine, Chorus Executive and Peeplcoach, Melbourne

Changing customer behaviour tools and resources

Daily IQ - a free insights tool 

Daily IQ is a free business insights tool for eligible CommBank businesses better understand their customers.

Go to Daily IQ

Vonto

Vonto is a free business insights app that can help you better understand customers, available to everyone.

Go to Vonto

Business Insights

Discover our range of industry and economic reports to help businesses meet changing demand and plan for the future.

Go to Business Insights

Useful digital tools

Many businesses have turned to digital solutions to keep their business moving and meet customer needs more effectively. 

"We ask for over the phone or tap and go card payments. We’re taking very little cash now."

-Peter, Kennedy’s Auto Repairs, Nowra

"We have to have a really good website because that’s our shop front. We also use apps to make sure our business runs effectively."

- Nip, GG’s Flowers & Hampers, Canberra

Image of business owner Dr Nimesh from Pennant Hills

Dr Patel's story: digital tools

Dr Nimesh Patel established Timeless Smiles Dental in Pennant Hills, a tight knit community in Sydney in 2011. As principal dentist, he oversees a team of 8 while also managing the business and seeing patients.

"Being a dentist is the easiest thing on any given day, being a business owner is the most challenging part.

Throughout the different levels of restrictions, we always had to stay in touch with customers and find new ways to help them. During April and May, we could only do emergency appointments so I was doing consultations for my braces patients over video-calls to check their teeth and guide them if needed. 

We also got software to get in touch with patients through text messaging and email. We use social media to make sure we were reaching out to our clients through YouTube, Facebook videos and Instagram.

Digital technologies have really helped us keep patients informed and educated throughout all of this."

Dr Nimesh Patel, Timeless Smiles Dental, Sydney

Useful digital tools and resources

Essential Lite

Accept fast and secure payments in-store and on the go.

Go to Essential Lite

Going online

See our complete guide to taking your business online. 

Read online business guide

CommBank Simplify

Set up a secure online store for your business. 

Go to Simplify

CommBank Secure

Your business's security is our priority. 

Go to CommBank Secure

Wellbeing

Running and owning a business can often make wellbeing a constant balancing act. With the challenges of the current environment, business owners have managed wellbeing a variety of ways.

"We plan stuff for the weekend. We make sure that we knock off at a certain time and we have space in the day. With 4 kids and running a business I have to be careful that I’m not the last in line."

Melanie, Kevlec Group, electrical and property services, Melbourne

"I understand my team needs time off. I’m a flexible boss and if you want to keep staff for a long time, it’s what you need to do."

-Peter, Kennedy’s Auto Repairs, Nowra

Image of business owner Nip from Canberra

Nip's story: wellbeing

Nip’s family started GG's Flowers & Hampers - a florist and social enterprise - seven years ago in Canberra.   

Starting with small bouquets, GG’s expanded into hampers and recently became and NDIS employer, providing people with disabilities with meaningful employment. 

"We had a massive increase in demand. When people can’t visit their loved ones, they send more flowers. 

So there’s a lot of work, but some staff haven’t felt comfortable to work and we’ve been understanding of that. Striking the right balance between managing staff and meeting demand has been fundamental for us. 

We make sure that our staff have a safe, compassionate and caring workplace with free assistance programs. We do a training session every month on personal development and self-care. We have a big commitment to self-care because at the end of the day, our business is only as good as our staff."

Nip, GG's Flowers & Hampers, Canberra

Wellbeing tools and resources

Simple steps to improve your financial wellbeing

Manage your day-to-day finances, be ready for the unexpected, and make your one day goals a reality. 

Go to financial wellbeing hub

Financial difficulty

We have a range of support available for customers in financial difficulty.

Read online business guide

Things you should know

The CommBank Connects campaign highlights business customers' learnings and solutions to common challenges. The content on this site is for general information and business customer purposes only and is current as at time of recording.  Business owners featured were CBA customers at the time of the recording and are speaking from their personal experiences only.

The insights conveyed by business owners and other references linked to this site has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances and consider seeking independent, tax and professional advice before making any decision.

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