One of Australia’s leading restructuring advisers, Mackay Goodwin, is urging struggling travel and tourism operators to urgently seek financial advice before the Government winds back JobKeeper payments at the end of next month. Mackay Goodwin is currently working with HelloWorld Monbulk/Bentleigh in Victoria, which has proactively moved forward with a voluntary administration process.

Mackay Goodwin is also asking the Government for special consideration for the pandemic’s most impacted industries, such as travel.

Mackay Goodwin CEO Domenic Calabretta explains: “Unfortunately, the travel industry has been among the hardest hit by COVID-19, and I am saddened to think that there will be more voluntary and involuntary liquidations as JobKeeper is rewound.”

“Job Keeper ends on March 28, and I urge the Government to find a solution for the travel industry and others, such as hospitality, which should be considered separate from other industries. Affected companies will need at least four weeks to cover redundancy provisions for staff unless a solution or extension to JobKeeper is delivered,” he says.

This week Mackay Goodwin was appointed to Helloworld Monbulk/Bentleigh, which was placed into voluntary administration. Mr Calabretta is worried it is only the first of many travel companies who will find themselves in a similar situation by the end of next month.

“Sadly, we know there will be more travel businesses experiencing hard times but acting now and seeking help means it won’t necessarily mean the end of the road,” he said.

HelloWorld Monbulk/Bentleigh Director Jennifer Watson explains: “We sought help from Mackay Goodwin as soon as possible as we didn’t want to leave it too late. We wanted to ensure we were doing the right thing by our staff and by our creditors.

“Helloworld Monbulk/Bentleigh is still trading whilst benefitting from the guidance of an experienced Mackay Goodwin restructuring expert.

Jennifer Watson explains: “We are continuing to operate whilst in voluntary administration, and we’re focusing on getting back into the business of sending our valued customers on the holidays they have been missing. We are looking forward to the post-pandemic future.”

Mr Calabretta explains some of the options open to travel companies: “There are a couple of routes open to struggling travel businesses if they act early and as soon as possible,” he says. “The first step is to have a good handle on their financial position.”

There are several options available to affected businesses, including voluntary administration or a small business restructure.

“Having the peace of mind that the restructuring expertise is there allows company directors and managers to focus on rebuilding the company and delivering an ongoing growth strategy,” he says.

Calabretta concludes by saying, “Impacted companies should seek help now, and not wait until JobKeeper dries up. Employee entitlements such as redundancies will need to be covered where a business may need to liquidate, so seeking help should give companies the peace of mind that an experienced financial adviser is supporting them.”

About Mackay Goodwin: Founded by CEO Domenic Calabretta, Mackay Goodwin is one of Australia’s leading insolvency and restructure businesses and has carved a niche successfully working with stakeholders in distressed businesses. The company handles everything from complex restructures and recoveries for listed companies and on behalf of various financial institutions to advising SMEs and finding the most appropriate business solution that works for all parties.