Aldermore detail SME’s strategies for dealing with COVID-19

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New research from Aldermore bank reveals that one in five (21%) small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners are working an additional three hours daily on average to manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their business.

Many SME owners reported that longer working hours meant they had to make personal sacrifices, such as reducing time spent relaxing (37%), quality time with family (32%), and exercising (20%). 43% of SME owners described themselves as being “stressed or anxious” due to the pandemic.

While working long hours is not necessarily damaging to an individual’s mental health, having an uneven work-life balance can impact performance and lead to fatigue and depression.

Working from home can also cause additional stress with 16% of SME directors finding it difficult to create a healthy work/life balance when working outside of the office.

Tim Boag, group managing director, business finance, Aldermore said:

“While it’s easy to assess the financial health of a business by looking through financial statements, it can be much harder to determine the mental wellbeing of staff.

During this financially challenging and difficult period, director burnout is now a real risk for many overworked SME owners, so it’s vital that business owners and their employees take some time out and maintain a healthy work-life relationship.

That’s why we’ve launched our mental health guide to help support SME owners as part of our ‘Small But Mighty Business’ campaign.”

The main causes of the increased time SME directors spent working included: spending more time serving existing customers (27%), working to reduce anxiety about the business’s future (21%), and pursuing more new business opportunities (19%).

When looking ahead to the future, 28% of SME directors were feeling anxious about what the next six months might mean for their business. More positively, a similar percentage felt determined (30%) that their business would survive.

Regional breakdown:

13% of SME directors in the North East were working 5 extra hours or more each day to manage the impact of Covid-19, the highest percentage of any UK region.

To support SME directors in managing their mental health and wellbeing, Aldermore has launched it’s: Small But Mighty Business Mental Health Guide’.

About Aldermore group

Aldermore group’s overall purpose is to back people to fulfil life’s hopes and dreams. Aldermore bank provides financing to back UK small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”), and supports investors and homebuyers with mortgage finance while offering a dynamic online savings proposition. We serve our customers and intermediary partners online and by phone, through eight offices in the UK.

MotoNovo Finance, based in Cardiff, helps UK consumers by bringing straightforward finance to people looking to buy their next car, van, or motorcycle. It owns and operates the online platform findandfundmycar.com

Established in 2009, Aldermore has grown significantly. In March 2018, Aldermore group became part of FirstRand group, the largest financial services group in Africa by market capitalisation. At the end of June 2020, Aldermore group lending to customers stood at £12.4bn.

For more information, please visit www.aldermore.co.uk


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