It’s no secret businesses have been affected by the pandemic, but exactly how much have they lost, how supported do they feel, how has the pandemic has affected their mental health, and what can we do to help?


How supported do the businesses feel?


The government has been working hard to try and ensure everyone is as safe and supported as they need to be during the pandemic, although 81% of small businesses believe they still haven’t had enough support from the government during these tough times. Of these people, 40% think they had some support, but not enough, and 41% believe they had no support at all. 24% of small business owners and self-employed believe that there should have been more communication and transparency about the impact of Covid on them. Finally, 9% complain that the support scheme applications should have been easier to fill out. In my opinion, I think that the small businesses and independent owners were all supported to an extent, but there is only so far the government can help them, as there are millions of businesses and the government has had to fund many other things as well as furloughing and supporting small businesses.


How do small business owners feel that pandemic has affected their mental health?


As you can probably guess, the pandemic has had a negative effect on most people’s mental health, and small businesses were no exception, but to just what extent have small business owners suffered? Only 18% believe that the pandemic hasn’t had a negative impact on their mental health, meaning that 82% feel it has, and given that at the start of 2021 there were approximately 5.5 million businesses in the UK, that means that roughly 4.5 million businesses have had to suffer through negative mental health as well as the other difficulties they must have faced. Of this 82%, 19% would describe their current mental health as ‘bad’, and 47% are worried about how their mental health will hold up in the future.


How much money have small businesses lost?


On average, small businesses have lost just under £16,000, which is a lot of money, especially for a small business. On top of this, small businesses are expected to lose roughly £24,000 and 8% expect their total losses to cost them over £50,000. The effect of this is drastic for all businesses in this situation.


Despite all the negatives, there is some optimism about what could happen in the future, 11% started a new business during lockdown, and 89% expect to restart or continue their current businesses. 36% said they’re confident about what’s going to happen after lockdown, and 76% said the vaccine rollout has made them more confident that they’re businesses is going to recover.


How can you help?


There are many ways you can support local businesses, without even having to pay! These are a few of my favourites:


1. It sounds obvious, but buying things from small businesses. Before buying something, try to check to see if there is a small business nearby that you can buy from instead.

2. Sharing on social media, if you find a small business nearby, but for whatever reason you can’t purchase from them, create a social media post or post them on your story. This can make a huge difference as it exposes the business to many other people who may decide to buy from that business.

3. If you have the financial means to do so, try to tip the owners, as it might not be a lot of money to you, but most businesses have lost significant sums of money during the lockdown and even the smallest amount of extra money can make a difference.

4. Finally, you could offer your services free of charge to local businesses, i.e if you’re good at web design you could offer to design their website free of charge.





image credit : martini