Small business owners have been under immense pressure for the past few years, and it seems that their poor mental health has only worsened, according to a new report from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
The study found that 38 percent of business owners reported experiencing mental health challenges or needs, with 43 percent feeling depressed and less accomplished than they would have liked in the past two weeks.
The BDC's report sheds light on the struggles of small business owners, who have been hit hard by the economic highs and lows brought about by the pandemic. The report points to rising costs, inflation, and a tight labor market as the key factors contributing to the poor mental health of small business owners.
One of the main concerns of business owners is inflation, with 54 percent of respondents saying that it is a source of stress. Inflation has been on the rise, hovering around four percent, and the Bank of Canada has responded by raising interest rates.
While this may help curb inflation, it has also added to the financial burden of small business owners who are already struggling to turn a profit. Dan Kelly, head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, acknowledged that the findings are sad but not surprising.
He pointed out that the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of business owners, who have had to deal with a range of challenges from navigating lockdowns to adapting to new safety protocols.
The BDC report also highlights the impact of the tight labour market on the mental well-being of business owners. With fewer workers available, businesses are struggling to find and retain employees, putting extra pressure on those who are already stretched thin.
The BDC report offers some recommendations to help small business owners cope with these challenges. It suggests that business owners take steps to improve their mental health, such as seeking support from friends and family, taking breaks, and practicing self-care.
The report also recommends that business owners seek financial assistance where possible, such as applying for government support programs or working with a financial advisor to manage their finances more effectively.
The BDC report underscores the ongoing challenges faced by small business owners and the toll it is taking on their mental health. As the economy continues to recover from the pandemic, it is important that we support these businesses and the individuals who run them.