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Alarming Rates Of Stress & Anxiety Amongst Small Business Owners

An alarming number of cases of stress, anxiety and depression have been reported among UK small business owners, as many still battle the fallout of the pandemic.

The SME insights report published by small business insurance provider Simply Business, found that three in five (58%) SME owners report feeling stressed, over half (53%) suffer from anxiety and a third (30%) with depression.

Key Findings:

  1. Three in five (58%) of SME owners report feeling stressed, over half (53%) suffer from anxiety and a third (30%) with depression in the post-pandemic era, recent data from our SME insights report shows.
  2. SME owners continue to battle wider economic challenges including rising costs, supply shortages and loss of customers.
  3. Financial worries remain largest cause of concern with one in three (32%) concerned about running out of money and one in 10 (12%) face going bankrupt.
  4. Well over three quarters (78%) of SME owners state that the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental wellbeing with a third (35%) describing it as severe.

Well over two fifths (46%) of SME owners have also suffered from sleep problems or insomnia and a quarter (25%) report low-self esteem.

Overall, more than three quarters (78%) of self-employed people state the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health and wellbeing, with a third (35%) describing it as severe.

Following a tumultuous two years of lockdowns and the current uncertain economic climate, the challenges facing owners today are proving difficult to navigate.

The cost of Covid-19 for the self-employed – including lost clients, loss of earnings and loan repayments – sits at a total of over £126 billion. And it’s clear that soaring inflation and rising costs will only make things more challenging.

A huge 70% of small business owners now report rising costs as their single greatest challenge. Meanwhile, almost two thirds (63%) say they’ve lost customers recently, and a further third (35%) are struggling to navigate supply shortages. Naturally, these continuous challenges that SME owners are having to face will have had a considerable impact on their mental health.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “Many small business owners are at breaking point – feeling the crippling pressure of rising costs and energy prices alongside their ongoing recovery from the economic impact of the pandemic. Livelihoods are on the line as a result of the growing economic challenges, with small business owners facing an unprecedented amount of pressure. Clearly this has had a huge impact on business owners’ wellbeing, with 78% believing the pandemic has negatively impacted their mental health.”

“At Simply Business, we feel compelled to highlight this issue and provide practical support where we can. Insuring over 800,000 small business owners and landlords helps us understand the specific wellbeing challenges being faced by the self-employed, and the reasons behind this concerning data.”

“Financial worries, rising costs, and ongoing supply challenges are having a significant impact on many owners’ mental health. That’s why – in addition to shining a light on the emerging wellbeing crisis among the small business community – we’ve partnered with a range of experts to offer free wellbeing tips and resources tailored to the self-employed.”