Globally, business owners have been victim to over two years of COVID-19 pandemic stress, which saw a high number of business owners thrust into making fast-paced business critical decisions in unprecedented circumstances. It was during the height of the pandemic in 2020 that MMC Research & Marketing conducted one of the first research studies into the mental health of UK business owners during the COVID-19 crisis.
Through the survey we were keen to identify if high levels of stress and isolation, led to a detrimental impact on business owners’ own mental health and wellbeing. The findings were striking, and we found that 54% of business owners had seen their mental health and wellbeing worsen due to financial worries, responsibility of staff, work/life balance and general unease.
As we emerge from the pandemic it is clear that there is still a lot of recovery to be done and we are keen to assess the aftermath. Through a second survey we want to gauge if and how mental health is still affecting business owners across the UK and, particularly, whether it’s affected their attitude to risk.
We are therefore delighted to launch the second Business Owners’ Mental Health Survey and it is great to have the support of the North East Chamber of Commerce and North East Times Magazine to spread the word, and to help us engage with businesses owners in the North East and nationally.
The second survey has launched in the height of Mental Health Awareness Week (9-16 May), an annual campaign created by the Mental Health Foundation which aims to improve awareness of mental health issues. With many industry bodies warning that members are on the verge of a mass burnout, it would seem the end to lockdowns and restrictions hasn’t put an end to business owner’s concerns and we are keen to delve into this.
The theme for this years’ Mental Health Awareness Week is loneliness, which is of great interest as our 2020 survey found that peer support was highly beneficial to business owners throughout the pandemic.
The 2020 survey also aimed to consider what tools and support might be helpful for business owners, specifically, to inform a practical and collaborative response to the findings. This then led to the launch of the online Mental Health Resource Hub which is still available here: https://mmc.agency/mh-hub/
Two years on we are now looking to find out to what level the pandemic has affected business owner’s mental health and what kind of help does – and would – support them going forward. Findings of this research will be shared with professional bodies and central government to ensure that the current state of business owners’ mental health is understood, empathised with, and that action and support can be provided.
Natasha McDonough, Founder and Managing Director of MMC Research & Marketing said,
“Like many other businesses, when lockdown struck, we lost a significant amount of planned business literally overnight, also overnight, my anxiety levels increased. At the time, I thought that if I felt like this, surely many others did too and I wanted to know what kind of emotional and peer support business owners needed.
The 2020 findings were eye-opening, two thirds of business owners that we surveyed said that concerns around cashflow and cancelled work were causing them high levels of stress. As we access the landscape post-pandemic, we are keen to identify if the themes are still prevalent and the extent of mental health concerns amongst business owners two years on.
With this second survey we’re especially curious as to whether the pandemic has made business owners more risk adverse, or whether they’re more ready than ever to fire on all cylinders and take calculated risks.”
We are looking for business owners from across the UK who’ve been operating for at least two years to participate in the survey and with every survey completed we will make a donation to the charity, Mind.
The survey which takes just a few minutes to complete is live until Friday 3rd June 2022. If you’re a business owner, please help by taking part in the anonymised short survey by clicking here.