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Cyclones, flooding risk to SMEs highlighted by Weather Bureau’s severe outlook

by OnDeck Australia,   Oct 21, 2021

Australian small business owners should prepare for severe weather conditions in parts of the continent this summer, following the recent release of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Severe Weather Outlook[i].


The warnings include an above-average cyclone season and an increased risk of widespread flooding over the east and north of Australia. The outlook also predicts that the risk of severe thunderstorms, heatwaves and bushfires remains near average despite higher rainfall.


Bureau Senior Climatologist Greg Browning said that while severe weather could occur at any time of the year, we are now entering Australia’s peak high-risk weather season.


Greg Browning said Australians could not afford to be complacent this severe weather season. “Severe weather can disrupt and endanger lives in many ways,” he said. Similarly, small business owners would do well to heed the bureau’s warnings with independent research by OnDeck Australia highlighting the devastating impact that extreme weather can have on their commercial operations.


Nick Reily, National Channel & Partnerships Manager at OnDeck said, “Our survey confirmed that seven out of ten (65%) small businesses have been impacted by extreme weather in the past – anything from flooding to bushfires, with one in five (20%) saying the impact was ‘severe’. As a guide, the devastating bushfires of early 2020 impacted one in two (48%) small businesses.”


Despite widespread concerns around extreme weather, fewer than half (49%) Australia’s small businesses are prepared for disruptive weather, according to the OnDeck research. This is an area where brokers can provide valuable support.


Many Australian small businesses are still recovering from extended lockdowns, and right now plenty will be focusing on the upcoming Christmas trading season. “While extreme weather normally takes us by surprise – this year we’ve had an alert from the BOM, and businesses are encouraged to have an action plan in place in case extreme weather strikes,” said Nick Reily.


“In particular, it’s important for brokers to speak to their small business clients to check if they have appropriate cashflow. Extreme weather can put a tremendous strain on cashflow especially if a business must shut during the peak trading season.


Brokers can help clients prepare for severe weather season


“Brokers can help their small business clients access cashflow rapidly in the event of an emergency. OnDeck’s Lightning Loans for instance can provide up to $100,000 in funding in as little as two hours.”


It’s also important for small businesses to have back-up supply plans in place if normal supply chains are disrupted through extreme weather. Nick Reily said, “Brokers can encourage small business customers to think about how the business would fulfil customer deliveries if bad weather strikes. This can be the cue for a business to review and expand the capability of its commercial fleet.


“At the end of the day, dealing with severe/extreme weather events must become part of every business owner’s operating plan, as we now know they will absolutely happen and likely more frequently than ever before.”


Prepared by OnDeck Capital Australia Pty Ltd ABN 28 603 753 215 (“OnDeck”) for general information purposes only. Content may belong to or have originated from third parties and OnDeck takes no responsibility for the accuracy, validity, reliability or completeness of any information. Information current as at October 2021. You should not rely upon the material or information as a basis for making any business, financial or any other decisions. Loans issued in Australia are subject to the terms of a loan agreement issued by OnDeck. Loans are subject to lender approval. OnDeck® is a Registered Trademark. All rights reserved.



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