Business Australia chief customer experience officer, Richard Spencer, answers your questions

Navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis has been a test for almost every Australian business, from the small, family-run operation to large corporations.

It is easy to become overwhelmed when it comes to accessing state and federal grants, negotiating with landlords, suppliers, lenders and managing workforces, especially when it involves reducing staff numbers.

And that is just the pointy end of the iceberg.

As Australia moves further down the road of recovery as a nation, businesses are doing the same.

Richard Spencer, chief customer experience officer, Business Australia, said business owners should seek expert guidance to aid that recovery.

Mr Spencer said there were many ways businesses could reduce cost, through rental relief negotiation, energy and utilities, and also accessing payments like JobKeeper.

But he said it was also time for businesses to start thinking about what they need to do now to survive in a post-COVID world.

“JobKeeper has been a lifeline for many businesses but we know that the eligibility criteria is complex, and business owners have a lot on their plate right now,” he said.

“Last month, we mobilised to help business owners navigate the application process by launching a free Stimulus Advice Line service that has attracted over 19,000 visits on our website to date.

“While businesses look toward recovery, we encourage them to consider how they could operate in the new normal. Surviving is an event, and it does not build a sustainable future – the decisions businesses make now will impact their ability to respond to a post-COVID world. We want to make sure businesses are setting themselves up to survive and thrive through COVID-19.”

Mr Spencer will be online at noon today (AEST) to answer your questions in an hour-long Q&A.

You can answer questions in advance in the comments below or during the session.

Due to the number of questions, Mr Spencer may not be able to answer everyone.

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