Intelligent SME.tech Issue 20 - Page 9

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Small business owners nearing a breaking point while struggling to support their employees ’ mental health
After two years of rolling lockdowns and business restrictions , the pandemic has had a significant impact on small business owners .
Half ( 50 %) report difficulty coping with mental health challenges , according to a new report , Near the Breaking Point : Mental Health in Small Business , by the Canadian
Federation of Independent Business ( CFIB ) and Nexim Canada ( PrimaSure ).
These results shed light on the reality of small business owners ’ pressures during the pandemic , including managing their employees ’ mental health needs , staffing issues , reduced consumer spending , paying bills , growing debt and other worries .
“ Owning and operating a business can be a very challenging and exhausting job . Business owners who are still struggling to reopen fully or return to normal revenues tend to be closest to burning out ,” said Corinne Pohlmann , Senior Vice President of National Affairs at CFIB .
Bad employee cybersecurity habits are leaving businesses at risk
Superscript has found that complacent attitudes among employees towards cybersecurity is putting UK businesses more at risk . In a survey of 1,500 UK employees , 40 % feel that upholding cybersecurity best practice is not their responsibility .
Alarmingly , 34 % claimed to be unaware of what preventative measures their company has in place to prevent such an attack , despite 53 % claiming they rely on the systems their employers have in place to keep them safe . Just 45 % stated they felt unconcerned about a cyberattack as their employers should ensure they have insurance in place to cover any related losses . These findings emphasise the complacent attitudes employees have towards their role in keeping the workplace safe .
“ A digital presence is a necessity for all modern businesses ,” said Cameron Shearer , Co-Founder and CEO at Superscript . “ This opens up new risks and with the widespread adoption of hybrid working cyberattacks are sadly becoming more prevalent .”
Small businesses to combat cost of living crunch
A study from Intuit QuickBooks has found that 84 % of small-and medium sized businesses ( SMBs ) feel confident about their business performance over the next year , despite the cost of living crisis .
Over two in five ( 43 %) SMBs prioritising growing their business over the next year agree the rising cost of running a business is the main challenge to growth .
Rising energy bills ( 61 %) and fuel and travel costs ( 54 %) are most likely to be currently impacting SMBs ’ financial performance in the next year , significantly ahead of other costs like increased wages for retaining staff ( 41 %) and the rise in National Insurance payments ( 42 %).
But 95 % of SMBs are taking some sort of action to mitigate against rising costs of running a business , with the most popular steps being swapping suppliers ( 38 %), investing in cost saving tech ( 35 %) or adopting hybrid working ( 31 %).
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