Evan’s corner: Impact of COVID-19

Written by: Evan Lowenstein
As Lowensteins has a very high proportion of clients in the arts sector, I have been acutely aware of the impact the Covid-19 has taken on our clientele. With the onset of lockdown I knew there was going to be a major impact on the arts when client after client either emailed me or phoned me to tell me that their shows, exhibitions/concerts had all been cancelled within one or two days’ notice and they were staring down the barrel of a gun with no foreseeable income for at least six months.
I knew there was a problem when my inbox filled up at an alarmingly increased rate and hasn’t yet stopped.
Thankfully, there was some assistance that was offered by the Federal Government that we could advise our clients about.
We were able to register our client businesses for the cash boost and, for sole traders and some employers, JobKeeper was made available.
Much time and effort went into the research of these programs and with almost daily updates and at time contradictory information combined with client’s expectations, it was indeed a time of stress for all of us in the frontline of providing assistance.
Lowensteins was able to provide regular mail-outs to our clients that made them and the arts community in general more broadly aware of all the changes and resources available to them which gave us an enormous feeling of satisfaction of being able to be of true service.
What made it so remarkable was the closer bond that I and the other accountants were able to establish with our clients, who saw us as providing a lifeline.
Clients – who we may have only seen once a year for a tax refund – became very attached and quite dependant on us which also fostered our relationship. These new ties of friendship were borne out of this mutual hardship.
Let us hope that the next half of 2020 will be a lot more productive than the first half.