Broker and accountants in business bushfire recovery advice


Gallagher identifies five initial points but restarting operations seen as crucial

Broker and accountants in business bushfire recovery advice
An image from the Gallagher advice

 

Gallagher has advised small businesses disrupted by the bushfire crisis do all they can manage to trade again.

The insurance broker provides a five-point ‘initial action plan’ to give structure to such an effort if it is possible to do under the circumstances.

"Returning to something approaching normal can seem a monumental task in the aftermath of a disaster like a major fire, but statistics show the sooner you can resume trading the more likely your business will be to survive," it says, pointing to a Forbes business magazine article on the subject.

The report states that more than 40 per cent of small businesses never open their doors again after a disaster, so acting quickly "is a critical factor in survival".

"You will probably have to work under entirely different conditions – the structure of your business may be entirely transformed ‒ but the ability to adapt is key," Gallagher says.

"Changed circumstances can unearth new opportunities.

"You will need to make important decisions and access appropriate support in the form of funds or concessions, which can be a challenge when you’re still grappling with shock and trauma, but there are resources available to help. Here are some guidelines for making a start."

It also reminds business owners that they will need to look again at their insurance position

"Bear in mind that insurance cover for your reopened business needs may require substantial changes from when you originally took out the policy," the broker says.


Read about the bushfire impact concerns trucking raised with government, here


The initial action plan involves the following steps:

  • communicate with key stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers and staff
  • assess the damage
  • do a reality check
  • find out what practical support is available
  • make a recovery plan

The intervention comes as accountancy body CPA Australia updates its advice on the subject.

"Ideally, businesses would have a continuity plan to guide them through the initial impact of a disaster and assist business recovery," it says.

"However, experience shows that many businesses do not have a continuity plan or, if they do, it is inadequate.

"This exacerbates the impact of a disaster, making business recovery much more difficult than it should be."

CPA Australia’s Recovery Toolkit updates aspects to consider in the first few weeks following a major disaster. 

It also has advice on analysis and evaluation business should consider within the first few months after a major disaster, guidance on developing a plan to restart a business, and additional activities to be undertaken post-disaster to ensure that the business operates more effectively and efficiently.

The full Gallagher advice can be found here.

The updated CPA Australia Recovery Toolkit can be found here.

 

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