By Leon Gettler >>
WHEN the Morrison Government unveiled its COVID-19 $189 billion stimulus package to keep Australians in work and businesses in businesses, there was a lot of public interest. And confusion.
Many didn’t know what exactly the package was offering them, how it could help them and where to find it.
Troy Roennfeldt and his team from the digital agency Increaseo had lost a lot of business thanks to COVID-19. So in their downtime, they set up a website named Stimulus Package to help to arm all Australians with information regarding the recently implemented Stimulus Packages.
It enabled individuals and businesses to locate and easily sort through all applicable support packages offered by the Federal and State Governments to help ease financial pressures and better navigate the tough times ahead.
Mr Roennfeldt said the site collates all the packages at the state and federal level. The idea for it came when he was combing through all the information and “couldn’t find it in one spot where it was needed.”
FUSION OF CONFUSION
While the government information packages have improved, it was very difficult back in March finding the right information. One had to piece it together from various news reports and the government websites were then sparse on information.
“Once I realised it was a bit hard, I was ticking over in my head one evening while I was working through things and I started looking through different domain names and realised stimuluspackage.com.au was available,” Mr Roennfeldt told Talking Business.
“I registered that, thought about it for another day or two and got my team working on developing it out.
“We had some capacity as we had lost a number of projects in the preceding days with some clients who were in the events space and the catering space. Their businesses had pretty much imploded so all work we had with them was put on hold.
“So we used that downtime to get our developers and content guys on to fleshing the site out.”
He said the firm had four or five of its team members working on it.
Mr Roennfeldt said the site could potentially become even more informative if it could drill into what was on offer in various local government areas and post codes.
“However, the amount of work involved in that is something we don’t have the capacity to put all that out considering we’re doing it for nothing,” he said.
He said there is now an ongoing process of keeping the stimulus package content up to date.
With JobKeeper still being a work in progress, the team will add new information to keep it updated.
FIT FOR THE TIMES
Mr Roennfeldt said the response to Stimulus Package had been really good, with many people signing up for newsletters and updates.
“I’m sure there’s probably going to be future stimulus package announcements in the coming weeks or months and we’ll keep that updated and shoot out updates to people who are registered on the site,” he said.
Mr Roennfeldt said the website also offered support services in areas such as mental health and accommodation for people looking for help. It also included information from businesses offering products for free, like productivity tools.
The site also had content from accountants and lawyers and financial advisers.
It’s become very much a community exercise and Mr Roennfeldt said if businesses, lawyers, accountants and financial advisers wanted to send in more material, they should get in touch with him at Increaseo.
Mr Roennfeldt expects the website will be running for more months to come as the government brings in more packages and changes schemes like JobKeeper and JobSeeker.
Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.