When COVID-19 hit, it stopped Scott and Debra’s South Australian transport company, Karma Trucking, in its tracks. Business came to a standstill, but the bills didn’t.
Debra and Scott have been in the transport industry for over 30 years and this has come with its fair share of challenges. When COVID-19 brought on strict boarder restrictions, their industry was heavily affected.
Debra explained how the ripple effect of COVID-19 left their business in doubt, “Businesses were closing down so they weren’t ordering stock and ships stopped coming in. There was nothing for us to transport.”
“We went from transporting five days a week to a couple of days a week and before we knew it things shut down completely. We were out of work for about eight weeks. Meanwhile we had bills coming in.”
“Although we weren’t working, we still had to be paying insurance for both the business and the prime mover, as well as the vehicle registration. We had to keep paying the bills so that we were ready at the drop of a hat for when jobs did start coming in. We didn’t know how we were going to keep our business from going under.”
Debra and Scott were battling a tough time as business owners. The long-time IBA homes customers thought they’d reach out to IBA to see what support they could get for the business.
“We were actually applying for a small personal loan when our relationships manager at IBA told us about the COVID-19 Business Relief Package. The support we’ve received has just been fantastic.”
“Being able to get on top of outstanding bills and creditors with the package has meant we have been able to also finalise the last payments on our prime mover. It took a weight off our shoulders to have the vehicle as an asset now and not a liability. We’ve been able to get on top of our payments and it’s provided us with some security. We can’t thank IBA enough.”
When asked what advice she would give to other business owners who may be struggling Debra said, “What’s gotten us through hard times is staying in contact. When bills are piling up, pick up the phone and call the provider, let them know your situation and come to an agreement. Don’t give up and put your head in the sand.”
IBA is committed to helping Indigenous businesses impacted by COVID-19. Read more about our COVID-19 Business Relief Package. If you need business assistance, reach out to your IBA relationship manager or register your interest today.