One in five small business owners struggling with mental health issues
The SME Tracker for March revealed that one in seven bosses (13.6%) were feeling unable to cope with work pressures, with another one in 13 (7.5%) reported having intrusive negative thoughts or suicidal feelings. Both figures were a substantial jump from the summer, when only one in 200 reported having suicidal or negative thoughts.
Generally, 24% said their mental health was worsening, due to the stress and challenges of keeping their businesses afloat amid the global pandemic.
The survey reported data from accountants representing 6,000 SME clients and ran until yesterday.
The tracker also unearthed a worrying trend for SMEs to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to forecasting their financial requirements and applying for loans to fund the reopening of their businesses and trading for the next 12 months.
Accountants said that more than one-third (37.5%) had not considered how to fund the coming months when it is hoped that trading will resume, requiring adequate cash flow.
Half of the clients were only confident enough to borrow up to 15% of their net earnings to fund continued trading – revealing a reluctance to take on more debt in an unpredictable situation.