Unsurprisingly anxiety and stress levels for everyone have risen as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. For business owners especially, the thought of seeing all that you have worked hard to achieve potentially failing due to circumstances outside of your control is soul destroying.

Being a business owner is often said to be a lonely place and so it is no surprise that a survey of SME workers¹ has found that close to 2 out of 3 people (65%) have suffered from mental health issues as a direct outcome of the pandemic, with women suffering marginally more than men.

The survey by Purbeck Insurance Services, provider of the UK’s only Personal Guarantee Insurance to SME business owners and directors found 66% of women have suffered from issues such as poor sleep, feelings of isolation, stress and anxiety, plus general feelings of depression and anger. 25% confirmed they are not sleeping well and 39% felt stressed and anxious.

In contrast, 62% of men said their mental health had suffered and 20% of the men surveyed said they were suffering from poor sleep.

35-44 year olds are the most impacted by mental health problems based on the feedback while those in the 55-64 age bracket least likely to have been affected by mental health issues.

Income appears to have little bearing on the likelihood of suffering stress and anxiety. While those earning £10k-£20k per annum were more likely to have sleeping problems than those earning over £40k, across the board, close to 40% of people felt more stressed and anxious as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

Todd Davison, MD of Purbeck Insurance Services said: “2021 has not started in the way we hoped and fears are growing over the number of small businesses that will go to the wall this year. Purbeck protects small business owners and directors from the risks of signing personal guarantees for business loans, so we have been on the front-line supporting firms facing significant financial distress, helping to work out their next best actions and in some cases acting as a point of liaison with the lender, which can take a huge burden off the business owner. However, in many cases we have simply provided a sounding board and that has been really valued by our customers.

“Talking can go a long way to helping with the stresses and anxieties we are all facing.  It is important to recognise when you are struggling mentally and seek support from friends, family and health professionals.”

If you have any personal guarantees associated with your business and you are concerned, even if you don’t have a policy with Purbeck, it is worth remembering that there are always people who are there to help you make sense of everything and find a way through this extremely difficult period. Seek help and advice sooner rather than later – you will feel better for it.

¹ Survey base 500 – conducted by Gorkana Surveys on behalf of Purbeck Insurance Services, 24/11/20

About Purbeck Insurance Services
Purbeck Insurance Services is a Personal Guarantee Insurance specialist supporting Small and Medium sized Enterprises (“SMEs”) and promoting business confidence
Insurance policies backed by Markel International Insurance Company Limited (“Markel”), an A-Rated insurer, as rated by A.M. Best (A), Fitch (A+) and S&P (A). Markel is a shareholder in Purbeck Insurance Services.
Purbeck Insurance Services is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
Insurance is underwritten by Purbeck Insurance Services, an authorised Managing General Agent (“MGA”) of Markel
Purbeck Personal Guarantee Insurance is annual insurance policy that provides Director(s) with insurance cover in the event their business lender calls in the Personal Guarantee (provided by the Director(s) as part of raising business finance)

Key features of Personal Guarantee Insurance:
• Premiums are competitively priced and based on individual circumstances
• Cover is available for Personal Guarantees signed to support a wide range of business finance facilities

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