• Coming together to support one another

    • 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 times.


      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.

      Government Assistance for Workshops (AU)
      Government 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 working.

      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 right now.


      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 measures.


      For our Area Managers and Risk Account Managers this has included:

      • Only making local visits to Members and not moving into Regional Areas
      • Calling ahead so we can work with you to ensure all visits are safe
      • Disinfecting hands before and after each visit
      • No longer distributing flyers unless plastic wrapped from source eg Ignition
      • Banning all interstate and overseas travel

      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,

      David Fraser

      Capricorn Group Chief Executive Officer


      Useful Links




      Find out what Australian Government Support is available to you


      Find out about your workplace entitlements and obligations if you’re affected by the outbreak of coronavirus


      Department of Health Resources


      Department of Home Affairs Travel Restrictions


      Latest information and advice for travel overseas


      Find out some of the ways your bank can help you when you’re experiencing financial difficulty


      New Zealand


      Find out what New Zealand Govenrment Support is available to you


      Continuity and contingency planning:


      Workplace response to coronavirus


      Safe Travel COVID-19


      Coronavirus and the effects on trade


      Work and Income maybe able to help:


      Business NZ’s recommendations for managing coronavirus in the workplace


      COVID-19 Employer Support


      Health Updates & Advice




      Health Direct


      New Zealand

        New Zealand Health