We’re stepping up support for brokers and SME’s
As we look forward to a more stable economy in 2021, we revisit how the 2020 Vero Business Recovery Grant helped existing Vero customers navigate financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
A business that made an impression
Impression Technology, a manufacture industrial textile printer from Frenchs Forest, Sydney was one of the successful recipients of the Vero Business Recovery Grants. Their business saw a decrease in customers and a disruption in their supply chain that caused a 70% reduction in sales. Their CFO, Rod Austin reflects on the hardships:
“Initially, early in 2020 our business stopped. There were no sales enquiries and the manufacturing of our machines were stopped due to lock downs in overseas factories meaning we could not get stock”. With no sales and no stock, and no confidence in the situation, “the uncertainty continued throughout the year”.
When Impression Technology's insurance broker Samantha Chan from Scott & Broad insurance brokers suggested the company apply for the Vero Business Recovery Grant, things started to look up for the business. Impression Technology saw the grant as a way to cope through this tough time and after receiving it, their business went from surviving to thriving.
With the grant money, Impression Technology was able to fix weak points in their business while innovating their offering to welcome new opportunities.
With a large portion of their sales lost to international buyers, Impression Technology decided to direct their focus toward local markets. This meant pivoting away from large enterprises and marketing directly to small businesses and consumers instead.
What did Impression Technology do with their grant?
Impression Technology implemented a new marketing programme dedicated to small businesses with low-volume needs. "We used the grant money to introduce new products tailored for this audience, which revitalised the existing range and increased sales leads”.
Suddenly, with a more customer friendly sales model, “Impression Technology was within easy reach of creative entrepreneurs pushing to survive this unprecedented situation”.
What has receiving the grant meant for Impression Technology?
Throughout the turbulent year that was 2020, Impression Technology “eliminated a lot of expenses and managed to reduce our debts. With new products and a fresh new direction, the grant gave Impression Technology the conviction to kickstart 2021 and to get the wheels turning again”.
What does Impression Technology look forward to in the future?
"Even though times are still uncertain we are in a better position to be more profitable once sales slowly increase and the grant enabled us to invest when we may have been too cautious".
Rod Austin, Impression Technology CFO
To find out more about Impression Technology, check out the below:
Time for change
“The goal of the grants was simply to help Australian SME’s doing it tough and provide them the kickstart needed to bounce their business back. To witness first-hand how Vero’s grant has helped Impression Technology to develop new products and a fresh new direction is truly a remarkable feeling.
As we reflect on the past year and what could have been, and to now see the positive impact that our grant has had on Impression Technology, it’s rewarding to see how our initiative supports industries and communities across Australia.
We often refer to our intermediaries as ‘partners’. Partners in the sense that we are in this together, helping local businesses thrive. Our initiative, supported by Samantha Chan and the Scott & Broad team, literally shows the power of this partnership as Impression Technology recovers and becomes a stronger business in 2021.”
Anthony Pagano, Vero Head of Commercial Intermediaries.
A grant for SME’s
The Vero Business Recovery Grant launched in 2020 and offered 25 grants with a total value of $250,000 (inc GST) to Vero SME customers, which would go towards services across business advertising, promotional printing, business equipment and business consultancy.
The grant has helped brokers engage with their customers in a whole new way and has helped these SME’s tactfully pivot their operations in these trying times.
Beyond the Vero Business Recovery Grant, there’s still plenty of ways brokers can help their SME customers.
We’re inviting all brokers and SME’s to the Vero Business Recovery Webinar Series, which features lectures from an independent business consultant covering three insightful topics:
- Pivoting your business in times of crisis
- Sales skills that work in any environment
- Mindset, mental health, wellbeing and coronavirus.
Register to watch the Vero Business Recovery Webinars on-demand