Last Updated: 23/03/2020
Capricorn is working hard to give our Members the resources and
help they need to continue to run their businesses during these extraordinary
Resources being made available to Members include:
1. Government Subsidy Database
Here you will find the latest subsidies and incentives being
made available to Members in Australia and New Zealand by their collective
governments. Information includes eligibility and how to access them with
updates being made regularly as more information is announced.
Assistance for Workshops (AU)
Assistance for Workshops (NZ)
2. Community Forum with tips on “Contactless Servicing and Repairs”
Login to The Workshop
community platform to connect with other Capricorn Members to share advice and
experiences on how to keep getting cars in and out in the current environment.
3. Worksafe Tips
We’ve started creating a series of short videos which provides
advice on disinfecting cars to keep you, your staff and your customers safe as
well as other tips. These videos will be made available for you once ready.
Immediate tips include asking customers to turn off the heating and air
conditioning system, so air is not blowing when the key is turned on and asking
that there be no open drinks, straws, food etc in the vehicle.
Other tips include entering the vehicle with gloves on, wiping
down the steering wheel, gear stick, handbrake and door with cleaning products.
If cleaning products are in short supply, covering the steering wheel, gear
stick and hand brake with glad or cling wrap is another alternative.
In terms of customer keys, these can also be wiped down with
cleaning products, but it is also people that transmit the virus, not things.
The virus can live on things but washing hands frequently, avoiding touching
eyes, mouth, face and ears, taking other relevant precautions, cleaning cars as
suggested, wearing gloves where possible and using soap and hand sanitisers
regularly, are all appropriate precautions to minimise the risk and carry on
Keep an eye out on our community platform, The Workshop
for more news and additional business resources including the ability to add a
comment. For those not on The Workshop, we will continue to also communicate
separately with the same information and resources by email.
4. Tips for Running your business
All businesses will have to be flexible in responding to the changing
situation. A proactive commercial approach together with early and regular
communication with Your Business partners will be essential. A clear and
continuing focus on cash and liquidity/ability to keep operating is essential.
Other things to consider: -
Employment: In terms of employment resources to
address questions of work, health and safety, leave, reduced hours, please
refer to the Employers
Guide to Coronavirus from the AAAA and the Industry Legal Group.
Leasing: If you need rent relief, concessions or
other temporary measures reach out to your Landlord now and seek to come to an
understanding early rather than later. You can remind them the best tenant they
have in this situation is you because they are not likely to find another one
Franchising: If there are parts of your franchise
agreement that require you to do something which no longer makes sense in the
current environment, such as opening hours or other requirements, reach out and
have a practical discussion on what can be changed in the short term.
Financing: It is important to be proactive in
identifying issues and communicating early. Evaluating and understanding the
impact of Federal and State Government initiatives is critical and Capricorn
will provide general details of these, but please speak to your financial
adviser. Banks will also defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by
the COVID-19 virus for up to six months. Banks will fast track the
approvals process for this relief. Some banks may require a registration
process so if this need applies to you, we recommend that you get in touch with
your bank to discuss further.
5. Lobbying for Automotive Repair
as an Essential Service
Capricorn has also been lobbying on your behalf to ensure that
the automotive aftermarket service and repair industry is recognised as an
essential service and can continue to operate in the event of an industry or
community shutdowns for quarantine reasons. We have highlighted that this has
been permitted in the United States where the Department of Homeland Security
recognised automotive service and repair as an essential service.
6. Your Capricorn Account
As a cooperative, it is times like these that we each do our part and in coming
together, are stronger together. If we each do the right thing by each other
then we are confident we can weather the storm and come out the other end in a
brighter future where people view the use and need for their cars even more
importantly than they do today.
The problem we are facing extends beyond the means of Capricorn
or any one single organisation and that is why Federal and State Governments
across Australia and New Zealand are offering unprecedented financial
assistance and support measures - more also appear likely. It is important that
you take full advantage of these to help with these challenging times.
If you have any concerns in relation to your trading account,
please call our Customer Service Team on 1800
327 437 (AU) | 0800 401 444
(NZ) or your Area Manager as soon as possible. We will work
with you and endeavour to support you in the best way we can but this ability
to support is dependent on everyone playing their part. Payments made by
Members are used to pay our Preferred Suppliers for parts purchases made by
Members. If you can fully pay your account, please do so. For others, we will
work with them and take account of their individual circumstances in deciding
whether to apply all or some of late payment fees if they do not pay their
account in full or on time.
7. Staff Response
Capricorn is fully operational with no staff exposed to the COVID-19 virus. To
ensure this continues we have implemented a number of precautions to keep our
team working safely and efficiently as well as to play our part in containment
For our Area Managers and Risk Account Managers this has
We’re also protecting our head office staff by enforcing social
distancing. All Head Office face-to-face meetings have been cancelled with no
external parties or contractors permitted into our offices. We will continue to
follow guidance from Australia and New Zealand governments and will adjust any
work practices consistent with guidance that is issued.
Here to Support You & Your Business
With all regular Capricorn products and services available as
usual, together we can keep workshops open and wheels turning for all our
community who are so dependent on their car and as we say, this will only
increase in the future. We have a strong cooperative and Capricorn is committed
to supporting you throughout these times and well beyond – with each of us
doing our part and working in cooperation, we will be stronger together and
stronger with Capricorn.
Yours in Cooperation,
Capricorn Group Chief Executive
out what Australian Government Support is available to you
out about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you’re affected by the
outbreak of coronavirus
of Health Resources
of Home Affairs Travel Restrictions
information and advice for travel overseas
out some of the ways your bank can help you when you’re experiencing financial
out what New Zealand Govenrment Support is available to you
and contingency planning:
response to coronavirus
and the effects on trade
and Income maybe able to help:
NZ’s recommendations for managing coronavirus in the workplace