While the nation may be enjoying a bargain or two this week, a new study has uncovered that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among the highest anxiety drivers among SME owners.
According to the SME Mental Health Report 2023, a study commissioned by Recognise Bank, 68.6% of business owners suffer from heightened anxiety in the build up and during Black Friday, one of the biggest impacts on mental health found in the study.
The bank, which specialises in SME financing solutions, found that Black Friday has more of an impact on stress and anxiety than fears of a recession, as well as the recent rise of energy prices and high supply costs.
Interestingly, it’s those business owners who have a larger number of employees that suffer the most, with over three quarters of those with 100 to 249 employees suffering, compared to just 57% of those with 10 to 49 members of staff. 68% of those with 50 to 99 employees suffer anxiety during this period.
The heightened anxiety comes at a period where there are several events from now until Christmas in which business owners do suffer more than usual. Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement, which took place earlier this week, sees 67% of small to medium-sized business owners suffer from the mental health issue, while the Bank of England Base Rate announcement, due in mid-December is also a stress driver for two thirds of owners.
The Christmas period offers a similar story, while we’re enjoying turkey and the Boxing Day sales, anxiety increases in 64% of business owners, especially younger business owners, including over 70% of those under the age of 34.
Mark Bampton, Chief Commercial Officer at Recognise Bank, said, “The latter months of the year are key trading periods for businesses and with the additional challenges of the Autumn Statement and interest rate announcements, it can be overwhelming for many, particularly those business owners facing such challenges for the very first time.
“Black Friday and Christmas can often make or break a year for those in retail and ecommerce, so while we all love to grab a bargain, it’s important to support those operating such businesses.”