Business Recovery

SME owners feeling stressed due to restrictions, says ACCA

The accountancy trade body’s SME Tracker found 37% of business owners said they were feeling more stressed and anxious than normal in June

Small business owners in the UK are feeling more stressed as of late, while Covid-19 restrictions are prolonged, according to a recent poll conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

The accountancy trade organisation’s SME Tracker, which reports on what small businesses tell their accountants, found 37% of business owners said they were feeling more stressed and anxious than normal in June, which is more than double the figure surveyed for May (16%).

Some 40% of small businesses also reported that the partial return to trading has been slightly or much lower than the level they expected for coming out of lockdown.

Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK, said: “SMEs are reporting high levels of anxiety just when they need to be at their most creative and innovative to get their businesses back to successful trading.

“We would appeal to them to talk to their accountant and to agree a financial plan for reopening and cashflow for the next 12 months. We are hearing about cases where SMEs are panicking and turning to the wrong financial options for their business.”

He added: “Government needs to do more to help SMES to know what the right support package for them is.”

Kirsty McGregor, founder of The Corporate Finance Network, said: “Government support grants, including Restart grants, are rolling out very slowly. Some businesses are having to wait months for this cash when they can least afford it.

“Companies are going to be facing extra costs next month with the tapering of furlough and business rates relief, and local authorities should be directing business owners towards grants for which they are eligible, rather than just turning down applications where the criteria has not been met.”

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