Long hours put small business owners health at risk

SMALL business owners’ health is being put at risk by extended working hours.

A survey, commissioned by business for sale marketplace, Bizdaq, found that small business owners are working 13 hours a week more than the UK average, negatively impacting the health of 28 per cent of small business owners.

The research, conducted by Opinium, found that 1.3 million small business owners are suffering health issues due to the pressures of running a small business, with 660,000 of those owners feeling that the business has a negative impact on their mental health. 

Jane Montgomery, Managing Director of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA), said: “As the umbrella body for the sports and play sector, many of our members are small to medium-sized businesses. 
“We know that many of our smaller members work long hours, especially when they are first establishing their businesses.

“But it’s when that situation continues over a longer period of time that business owners can suffer.  Mental and physical health can deteriorate as well as key relationships; long hours mean family life gets put on the back-burner.
“Strong small businesses are key to the UK economy and they depend on strong business owners.  Support for entrepreneurs at a local level is vital as well as steering businesses through difficult or turbulent times. 
“Brexit will be a major concern for small business at the moment and for some time to come, so it’s very important that they are supported by government and kept fully informed.

“The FSPA is currently in the process of collating our members’ questions and issues around Brexit so that we can represent them at the highest levels.”

Small business owners were found to be working an additional 13 hours extra per week (50 hours per week) compared to the UK average (37 hours), with 370,000 small business owners working 60+ hours a week and as many as 94,000 owners working 80+ hour weeks. 

Business ownership was most likely to be a burden in the North of England, with twice as many Northern small business owners (22%) responding that their health was negatively impacted than Southern business owners (11%).

The East Midlands was found to be the most negatively impacted region, with 34% of owners saying their health was affected, whilst the South East was the least affected with only 8%.

Families are feeling the effect of small business ownership too, with 87% of small business owners with children under the age of 18 not planning to take their children on holiday this year.

This lack of family time isn’t just felt during the summer break though, as 18% of small business owners feel their business negatively affects their family.
Sean Mallon, CEO of Bizdaq, said “The fact that so many small business owners are struggling is astonishing and really shows the need for the government to do more to support the backbone of the British economy.

“Now more than ever, the UK needs strong small businesses.

“The abolishment of Business Link and the regional adviser program by the Coalition government in 2010 left a vacuum in small enterprise in the UK.

“Where small business owners previously felt the benefits of having a local support network, there are currently no services where owners can turn to when looking for support.

“I would call upon the new small business minister Margot James to prioritise the re-establishment of business support on a local level.”

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