Late night social networking addiction, insomnia, or simply working overtime
Late night social networking addiction, insomnia, or simply working overtime

‘JobKeeper won’t save us’: Mass business collapse on the way

Queensland business owners lay awake at night worrying about a lack of customers and cashflow while the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of easing, haunting new research reveals.

A survey of more than 1000 Australian company directors found 36 per cent are most concerned about declining cashflow compared to just 10 per cent who are worried about JobKeeper ending.

About 30 per cent of Queensland directors are worried about cashflow.

Their concern is second in the nation only to Western Australia, where 47 per cent fear the lack of cash.

The survey, conducted by insolvency firm Jirsch Sutherland, also found more than a quarter of business owners who benefitted from JobKeeper are expected to consider insolvency in the next six months.

Jirsch Sutherland Queensland Partner Chris Baskerville said the research signalled a troubled time ahead for businesses despite the extension of JobKeeper.

"If you're a business owner or director who's experiencing financial stress, it's more important than ever to assess your current and future cashflow situation and revenue streams, particularly taking into considerations when the government's life raft will no longer be there," he said.

Queensland respondents, however, are mostly positive with 57 per cent saying they are unlikely to explore restructuring or insolvency in the next three-to-six months.

"It's important to seek professional help to determine the best solution," Mr Baskerville said.

"The Australian Taxation Office and WorkCover aren't actively winding up companies to pursue debts, and banks have a moratorium until after the new year - but that's not an excuse for directors to put off making hard decisions.

"Regardless of how they're faring, it's crucial for all businesses to continually assess their businesses and plan - for current conditions, the post-stimulus environment and beyond COVID."

Originally published as 'JobKeeper won't save us': Mass insolvencies on the cards