CBCC Live TV – Property, Real Estate & Finance – an episode targeting Stimulus, Grants and Jobkeeper Payments and how this has impacted on businesses, landlords and the property market in Australia. Keeping our members informed, providing strategies and brainstorming ideas is an important part of what the Chamber provides to its members.
Wally Mehanna started the conversation. We live in a connected world and by live streaming, we stay connected to one another. The Canterbury Bankstown Chamber of Commerce intends to adopt technology and be not just a thought leader but a mentor to businesses ready for digital transformation. Being connected is more important than ever, because when we can’t have something – we want it more. When we want something we can’t have, it can start to wear us down. So take care of each other and seek support when you need.
In times of uncertainty sound business leadership will seek to achieve business goals, act decisively and instil confidence.
Our Panel Speakers – COVID-19 and Rent Negotiations
We pride ourselves on attracting talent from our vast pool of members to discuss current issues like the government stimulus packages and provide real information, from real people about real issues. Meet our Panel.
Anthony Matthews from St George Banking Group
Anthony Matthews, Head of SME Business Banking and his employer the St George Banking Group have been strong supporters of the CBCC for many years. Day to day, Anthony looks after small businesses Australia wide through his network of bankers, with key tasks recently being hosting or participating in sessions that provide insights to business through COVID-19. Livestreaming with CBCC is a new innovative way that he clearly enjoyed and delivered confidently.
Anthony talks about the challenges of globalisation, self-dependencies, offshoring, diversification and the increase for payment gateways as businesses move online. Good news! St George despite being very busy still has a caring and compassionate attitude toward business customers in particular. They have even extended the Kickstart program.
Businesses are concerned about debt, but what Anthony urges is that before businesses take on debt, consider all other options and think deeply about the strain debt may have on your business POST-COVID-19. Debt is not always the answer, he commented on:
- Stimulus available at Federal, State and Local Levels of Governments
- Defer P&I payments
- Reduced interest on Overdrafts, and Business loans at St George Bank
- Record low rates
- how the Bank has already waived fees on merchant facilities for existing customers
- COVID-19 Lending options backed by the government
Anthony allayed concerns about property values and a volatile rental market by reminding businesses that leverage is just one element of lending, the underlying business is still a major driver and with the help of government stimulus, serviceability of a loan will be assessed on all the businesses merits including the “what if” scenario – what if not for COVID-19. Anthony does not see massive firesales on the horizon because LVR’s may have changed – if anything, the bank will have a lot more work to do with its customers. No one wins by overacting to this economic crisis.
George Kapos McGrath Bankstown
The team at McGrath Bankstown have a reputation for excellence that is unmatched in the region. Led by Principal George Kapos, their market knowledge, friendliness and extraordinary work ethic have resulted in an outstanding track record of results. Focused on residential, but with significant experience in commercial property and development sites, McGrath Bankstown is the only choice for those seeking a customised campaign and the finest service.
George Kapos, the Principal at McGrath Bankstown has been on the ground for more than 22 years and was the winner of LBA. George knows first hand how distressing the negotiation of rent and rent deferral or waiver can be for all concerned. Real Estates are copping a lot of flack because their income is tied to the negotiation and therefore presuming that they are not acting in the best interest of the tenant. But this is not the general consensus. We have the behaviour of some affecting the reputation of long-serving award-winning estate agents. George and many other real estate agents are working harder than ever before, and getting paid less. With parties high in tension and often frustrated it is important to remember that Real Estates do understand the value of long-lasting relationships and that – good tenants are worth helping. It does not help our communities to have empty commercial properties for an indefinite period. George, as a mediator, reminds both sides that negotiations should be transparent and fair and to consider what is really in the negotiation pool, and what is a given.
Australia has a robust real estate market. We have shown this time and time again. George and his team preempted the government’s measures and therefore moved online with early adaptation, staying agile, and putting confidence back into the market. There are positives about some buyers leaving the market, in that those that have a capability to take advantage of their own robust foundations, so investing in property has never been better. Councils have promised to act swiftly and we can only hope that this economic crisis will have certain leave-behinds and council efficiency being just one.
Jo Johnston from Collappor8
Jo Johnston is a Partner at Collappor8. Collappor8 is a one-stop-shop for business. As management consultants, they cover all areas of a business such as Strategy and Corporate Finance, Accounting & Bookkeeping, Customers & Marketing including digital and design, Operations, People & Culture and Business Interior Design. Need help with accessing your government grants and payment, get Collappor8 on your side. Don’t wait for trouble, get in front of the crisis.
“Compromise can only be found in conversation”.
Jo believes that the insolvency safe harbour has created a Mexican stand-off between tenants and landlords, however, she fears that tenants may be avoiding confrontation or being bullied into arrangements that they cannot afford and will inevitably fail POST-COVID-19. The protections for directors under the insolvency safe harbour is not a “free for all” to behave badly, it is temporary relief to get your affairs in order or to restructure. Jo knows as management try to navigate their business through this health pandemic and economic crisis they will need all the help they can get.
When negotiating COVID-19 and rents, this should happen in good faith. She points out that there will be look-throughs and reminds both sides to keep good records because “you will be judged on your actions”. Work with your tax agents, financial advisors and your management consultants so you can:
- quickly bounce back
- drive innovation because it is being forced on you
“Don’t sit in decline…, hustle!” Get in front of your situation – don’t be ashamed and bury your head – sound management and dedication will see many businesses prevail.
COVID-19 and Rent Negotiations
The final message from Wally and the CBCC was to stay focused, keep positive and take every opportunity. Work together toward a successful negotiation. The CBCC has many benefits and during these unprecedented times, as it continues to lead the way in taking steps with its members, our memberships are rapidly growing because our support is relentless. Join us Live on CBCC Live TV streaming on Facebook for Eepisode 4 Wednesday 13 May 2020 Booking link.