Less than one in 10 SME leaders feel supported during the current lockdown

As the UK’s third national lockdown continues, just 8% of business leaders feel supported, research from Nucleus Commercial Finance today reveals.1 Half (50%) feel worried or depressed about the current lockdown and nearly four in 10 (38%) feel anxious about the current lockdown. Other negative feelings towards lockdown include:

  • Stressed – 38%
  • Lost / lacking direction – 22%
  • Unsupported – 18%
  • Alone – 16%
  • Overwhelmed – 15%

More than half of SME leaders (54%) say their feelings towards the current lockdown are having a negative impact on all aspects of the business. A third (31%) say lockdown is having an impact on their ability to plan ahead, while a quarter (26%) say their negative state of mind is affecting the day-to-day running of the business. The difficulties business leaders are facing with lockdown are also having an impact on their relationship with employees, with 10% saying their own negative emotions are affecting employee morale.

During the current environment, access to support is vital. Nearly a third (31%) of SME leaders said they have a network of peers they are engaging with to help them and their business during the current lockdown restrictions, and a further 16% say they are planning to engage with a network of peers. However, nearly a quarter (24%) say they don’t have access to a network of peers and a further 22% say they don’t feel the need to get support.

While the majority of business leaders are struggling in the current lockdown, some believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. More than a quarter (27%) are optimistic for the vaccine, 21% are accepting, 10% are positive and a further 7% feel motivated.

Chirag Shah, CEO, Nucleus Commercial Finance said: “We often first think about the financial impact lockdown is having on the SME nation, but we must also consider the emotional impact on business owners across the country. Businesses now more than ever need access to support, whether that be financial, mental health or practical, to help them through the tough times ahead.

“While the picture is looking brighter with the mass rollout of the vaccine, it is never too late for business owners to engage with support groups. Not only do they provide business owners with access to a wealth of resources, but connect them with peers in their local area, allowing them to discuss the similar issues they are facing in today’s challenging environment.”