- 29 April 2020
- Simone Keir
The Board and Management hope that this message finds you all well and managing as we all traverse the difficulties created by COVID-19.
Anzac Day is an important day in the lives of us all, a day when the Club traditionally provides a safe place for veterans to meet after their annual March to share memories and friendships. This year was different but no less important than any other year.
It is especially important to our Imperial Services Club and Defence members, and all of us, as we stop to honour and remember the many Australians, ex-servicemen and women, who suffered much and lost their lives to provide us all with the freedom and standard of living that we all enjoy today, commencing on 25 April 1915 when the Anzacs set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. Lest we forget.
Since our last communication, as Government directives and initiatives have become clearer, management have worked efficiently and expeditiously to obtain the benefit of all rebates and deferrals which have become available, including payroll tax relief, insurance premiums rebates and other general expenses reductions.
The Club has also applied for JobKeeper payments to assist its loyal and dedicated employees, after having taken reasonable measures to mitigate the harsh financial impact on all Clubs and businesses of the necessary isolation of members and shutdown of most services. Those payments will ensure an income for our employees for the month of April and thereafter for the relief period approved by the Federal Government.
Management have retained sufficient resources to ensure that the Club premises are secured, maintained and cleaned and end of year financial statements are completed in a timely manner, and the Club is well positioned to open as soon as circumstances permit. Subject to contractor resources being available, the Club will attempt to bring forward any repairs, maintenance and other remediation activities that close the Club for a short time during January in each year.
The net result of management initiatives is that any deficit for this trading year has been materially improved from the earlier forecast of $700,000 in the March letter to members and should come in around $400,000 before depreciation.
Clubs NSW have today advised that unless Clubs can progressively commence to provide services to their members in the short term that up to 40% of Clubs and RSLs in NSW may close their doors permanently, a very unfortunate loss of facilities enjoyed by many in our community across the State. We are fortunate that the Club is not only in a financial position to survive COVID-19 but also retain a strong balance sheet after resumption of business, albeit slightly weakened by the unforeseen revenue losses.
Given the circumstances, the Board has resolved:
• to roll over any current unused minimum spend of members into the FY 2021;
• subscriptions and minimum spend for FY 2021 will be separated into two instalments;
• the first instalment for subscriptions for FY2021, at the FY2020 rate, will be sent out in May 2020, without any minimum spend; and
• to send out minimum spend(either the full $500 or pro rata amount depending on opening date) and pass on any increase in subscriptions, if required, when the club resumes normal business and management and the Board properly access the financial position post COVID-19.
This compromise will provide the necessary cash reserves for the Club to continue to operate without overdraft for extended periods, and defer any call on members for funds which cannot immediately be applied by members to enjoy the facilities of the Club.
We thank all members for their messages of support and understanding and continuing patience, which have been greatly appreciated by the Board and management who look forward to welcoming you all back to the Club as soon as practically possible. In the meantime stay safe, happy and well.
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