As coronavirus case numbers accumulated in March, the government restrictions and economic downtown throw numerous businesses and industries off course, forcing them to navigate through murky economic waters. Arum Advisory has been helping Desk Space members to navigate those waters, providing knowledge and advice about the government’s financial assistance and stimulus packages.

As an accounting and consultancy service, it’s been an understandably busy few months for the Arum team as they assist their own clients, and kindly provide advice to Desk Space members. In April they hosted two virtual lunch and learns and have been available to fielded members’ questions as they arise.

“We hosted lunch and learns about the JobKeeper Payment and other government programs, and have since been helping members with questions about eligibility and application, which leads to other enquiries,” says Arum Managing Director Chris Ayling.

Wedding photographer Karina Lee, of Tempo, is one of those members. In late March, the federal government announced weddings were restricted to five people or less, and within a matter of days Karina’s clients for the next six months had postponed their weddings. She joined Arum’s virtual lunch and learn about JobKeeper and spoke to Chris regarding other questions.

“I wanted to know if I was eligible for other financial assistance to make sure I wasn’t missing out.,” Karina says. “They were very helpful, and it was convenient to have them in the space. Karina has since become a client of Arum, and with restrictions easing, is starting to see bookings again for late 2020 and next year.

While Arum provides advice to Desk Space members, Chris says businesses should ultimately speak with their accountants regarding the financial assistance schemes and refinancing opportunities with their banks.

And while financial assistance is gratefully received, it is just a band aid for many. Chris anticipates businesses will continue to struggle as a result of the economy, particularly when JobKeeper ends in September, as currently scheduled. “The payment is keeping people afloat and businesses will take a massive hit once it stops,” he says. “JobKeeper may be extended for some industries, but there will be a lot of insolvencies and bankruptcies.”

Indeed, the economic fallout as a result of Covid-19 is nothing like we have seen in recent times. “This has affected absolutely everyone. We hopefully won’t see something like this again, but it’s going to continue for a long time yet,” Chris says.

Desk Space and its members are grateful for the assistance and advice the Arum team provides. While many businesses adapt financially to the economic climate, many others have adapted creatively. Rescue Brand is a new personal-care branddriven by social responsibility, and Studio Messa is helping the events industry in exciting ways.