Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) owners are being hit by the ongoing economic shock and are experiencing a state of permanent crisis.
A survey conducted by business insurer Simply Business found that 1 in 5 SME owners are emotionally in a bad place, four in five admitted that the pandemic is harming their mental health, and over half reported that they have been experiencing anxiety since the start of the pandemic.
During the pandemic, mental health has for many people been tied to feelings of anxiety over their financial insecurity, with the resultant economic crunch being felt most harshly by those without the means to support themselves.
Small businesses have felt the economic brunt of the pandemic as they have had to close their doors, and most clearly felt the severe disruption to their operations, with over 33% of SME owners have had to close their business at various points, and 44% are operating at reduced capacity.
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Launch of online resource giving out free tips for the self-employed
Financial worries have easily translated over into anxiety, as the risk of losing their business two in three SME owners replied to the Simply Business survey that their mental health has caused their negative emotions over the last year. And this anxiety has been projected into the future, as while many felt optimistic about this year, 49% were concerned about their businesses' future, and 47% were concerned about their own long-term mental wellbeing.
Simply Business has launched its Better for Business-being Hub for these small business owners to bring tailored support and wellbeing tips to address these fears. At the launch, Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: "Financial worries, dealing with stress, and lack of time for self-care are just some of the challenges. That’s why – in addition to shining a light on the emerging wellbeing crisis among this audience – we’re partnering with a range of experts to offer free tips and resources tailored to the self-employed.”