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Posthaste: Small business owners are not OK — many say they’re on the verge of burnout

0 2 years ago

Canadian small business owners, having endured two years of pandemic restrictions, lockdowns and stress, are on the verge of mass burnout, new research suggests.

Two-thirds of small business owners say they are close to burning out and 50 per cent are struggling with their mental health, according to a report from the Canadian Independent Federation of Business and Nexim Canada.

The findings show just how much pressure small businesses have been under these past two years, CFIB said. Amid on and off lockdowns that closed businesses and reduced sales, many owners were forced to take on ever larger amounts of debt to stay open. That, combined with staffing pressures and other stressors, made an “already challenging and exhausting job” worse, CFIB said, and many struggled to keep it together.

But the end of lockdowns didn’t immediately put an end to business owners’ woes. Many businesses have still not recovered completely, CFIB said, and that’s taking a toll on mental health.

“Business owners who are still struggling to reopen fully or return to normal revenues tend to be closest to burning out,” Corinne Pohlmann, senior vice-president of National Affairs at CFIB, said in a release.

To add to business owners’ burdens, their employees are also dealing with more mental health issues. Many employers say they’ve noticed an increase in such ailments among their staff. Indeed, 54 per cent of owners said they know of struggling employees in 2022, compared to 35 per cent who were aware in 2020.

That data lines up with other studies that show more Canadians in general are struggling with mental health concerns as the pandemic has progressed, CFIB said.

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