The founder of a finance and investment marketplace has presented a new way forward for small businesses struggling to pay employees as they wait for their JobKeeper applications to be approved.
MarketLend CEO Leo Tyndall developed the new payment gateway offering ‘UnLock’ which can extend supplier terms from 30, 60 to 90 days, thus freeing up a businesses’ cash flow to be redirected to staff wages rather than supplier and agency invoices and commercial rent, while simultaneously preventing the need to take out more debt.
“UnLock is a business-to-business (B2B) buy now, pay later method that enables small and medium sized businesses to improve their working capital to have financial flexibility as needed in the current operating environment,” Tyndall explained.
“UnLock extends payment terms on invoice and suppliers are paid upfront in return for a fee. Businesses can use UnLock funds, starting from $50,000, immediately rather than dipping into their accounts before sales are acquired.
“By creating cash flow, paying suppliers and transferring the risk to ourselves, UnLock enables businesses to have more financial flexibility, particularly during this unpredictable time.”
The government's $130bn JobKeeper scheme was launched to assist businesses struggling to pay staff wages through the COVID-19 economic slowdown. More than 900,000 Australian businesses have registered their interest in accessing payments and 500,000 businesses have filled in formal applications.
However, the scheme has presented cash flow issues for some businesses, particularly those which are earning no income while waiting for their application to be reviewed and approved, but must still be paying eligible employees a minimum of $1,500 per fortnight to remain able to eventually receive the payments.
“The JobKeeper payments are paid out as a reimbursement. That means, in order to be eligible to claim, employers must have already paid out employees’ wages from March 30 to the time they receive the payment,” said Tyndall.
“For some employers, this means they will have to cover at least five weeks’ worth of payroll before being reimbursed. Businesses have an option of taking out a loan, which includes an overdraft, or looking at other options such as UnLock.”
“The JobKeeper initiative is a great help for businesses who want to retain staff. If cash flow is managed well with a working capital solution, the business will have the flexibility to keep suppliers paid with the same payment terms and pay their staff wages.”