A report has analysed the challenges small businesses are facing across the UK. A thousand small businesses and decision makers were surveyed in November and December last year. Across the country, 86 percent of small business owners are working over the recommended maximum of 48-hours per week. 67 percent said that they had to up their hours during the pandemic.
The study carried out by takepayments reveals that Sheffield has the unhappiest small business owners as just one in 10 were happy with their work-life balance.
Only 15 percent of Sheffield owners are working 48-hours a week or less and only 30 percent get at least two days off.
Interestingly, more than half (55 percent) of small business owners in Cardiff are happy with their work-life balance, despite only 18 percent having two days off and just 15 percent working a 48-hour week or less.
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Unsurprisingly, coronavirus restrictions were the top concern for businesses across the country and uncertainty surrounding Brexit was second.
Rising costs and changing circumstances have put the future of businesses in doubt. Many owners have had to make huge sacrifices to keep businesses afloat and their staff employed.
Carina Lepore, winner of The Apprentice 2019 and owner of South London bakery Dough Bakehouse, said: “Like most small businesses we were hit by the pandemic.
“To keep all my staff on I had to make a number of personal sacrifices, but I wanted to do this as my staff are my priority.
“Not being able to pay my staff could affect someone’s ability to pay their rent or mortgage. The sense of responsibility is huge.”
Sandra Rowley, head of marketing at takepayments, said: “Last year was challenging time for all businesses and unfortunately the uncertainty will continue into this year.
“However, we have light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully life can start to go back to normal following a successful roll out of the vaccine and hopefully some work life balance will be regained.
“For employees, there will be no change to the terms – they will continue to receive 80 percent of their salary, for hours not worked, until the scheme ends.
“As businesses reopen, we’ll ask them to contribute alongside the taxpayer to the cost of paying their employees.
“Nothing will change until July, when we will ask for a small contribution of just 10 percent and 20 percent in August and September.”