Weathering debt recovery during level 4 lockdown

Covid-19 and the current level 4 lockdown has been the biggest disrupter to New Zealand that most of us can remember, hitting us emotionally, physically and monetarily – both as individuals and as business owners.

No matter what type of business enterprise you run, you will have felt the punch. You may be designated to be an essential service, but getting staff and other enterprises to supply you is likely to have been problematic. Generating sufficient cash flow, including getting prompt payment from your clients will have weighed on your mind, with real implications on payment of your own bills.

As a business who prides themselves on exceptional cash flow and prompt bill payment, we know that this is more than a financial issue, it’s a pride and reputational issue that is costing you emotionally.

There is light at the end of this tunnel, and Kiwi businesses, agencies and the government are banding together to ensure our economy continues to succeed and flourish.

Organisations around us are rallying to stop debt collection agencies following up on outstanding debts. Utility, housing, banking and finance companies are being asked to pause disconnections, debt collections and waive penalty fees, as people struggle to pay their bills, showing the forgiving nature of our culture and economy.

Alleviating stress from a nation, businesses and individuals is socially responsible and the right thing to do. We do, however, need to reflect on the flow-on effect of not paying our debts and plan how we are going to turn things around once we are back to a semblance of normality.

We are a nation of small and medium businesses who survive on weekly cash flow to pay our own debts and invoices. Small businesses employ individuals, who are part of families, so it is crucial that we get the economy back up on its feet as quickly as possible. With both government and non-governmental organisations well aware of its ramifications, we can feel confident that the country will weather this storm and come out of the other side stronger as a nation and as people.

The other important factor to acknowledge is that financial worries have been a huge stressor during this difficult time, so we need to be aware of its effects on our mental health.

If you’ve been hit hard by the effects of Covid-19, make sure you reach out. New Zealand is here to help, so do speak out and ask for help if and when you need it.

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