According to harrowing new information released by chartered accountant group, ACCA, and the Corporate Finance Network (CFN), one in ten of Britain’s small business owners is currently battling with thoughts of suicide. A gut-wrenching statistic but sadly, one which perhaps doesn’t come as much of a shock as it should.
The spike coincides with the coronavirus pandemic and the catastrophic consequences it has had on the economy and market. The UK went into lockdown on the 21st of March which means many small (and large) businesses have been severely struggling – or unfortunately, shutting down – ever since.
The body of research published by ACCA and the CFN highlights the fears which are certainly contributing to the shocking state of mental health amongst them.
Dealing with cashflow struggles
Being forced to cease trading and furlough staff has caused businesses to lose crippling amounts of cash. With nothing coming in whilst outgoings continuing cashflow has become a major source of stress and fear, even despite government support.
Late payments are a longstanding issue for small businesses, way before COVID-19 ever reared its ugly head. With debts rising, business still in a state of lull, and the pending recommencement of bills such as commercial property rent, outstanding invoices are more problematic than ever for the country’s smallest enterprises.
Small business insurer, Simply Business predicts that the COVID-19 crisis is going to ultimately cost the sector around £69billion, with more than 40% of those they surveyed having already shut up shop.
Workplace safety and social distancing
The government released detailed guidelines earlier this month which set out meticulous safety requirements for when employees eventually start filtering back into the workplace. This is an extreme pressure with enormous responsibility for small business owners. Balancing limited space, limited budget and staff wellbeing to demands serious consideration.
These topics are undoubtedly gloomy, yet the crisis has also revealed some positives.
Entrepreneurs better understand the importance of community and supporting one another.
Tough lessons make for resilient survivors who are better prepared for next time.
Business owners have had time to stop, think, evaluate and evolve during their downtime.
The pandemic lockdown has inspired whole new methods of innovation which can be transferred and adapted to the ‘new normal’.
Many employers have a newfound appreciation for the benefits that flexibility and agile working (such as working from home and video meetings) can bring to a modern business.
Are you a small business owner struggling to navigate the current climate? Share your experiences with us in the comments or come and join the conversation over on social media using the links below. Better yet, share your success stories to help others see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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