Almost one quarter (23 per cent) of business owners will not be able to buy Christmas gifts for their family and friends this year, and 16 per cent expect to be working on Christmas day, as the Covid-19 pandemic takes its toll.
According to a new survey by business lender iwoca, the economic impact of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns has put many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at risk of closure in the new year – with female-led businesses particularly affected.
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Almost half (47 per cent) of female SME owners are concerned that they will have to close their business in 2021, compared with 35 per cent of male-owned SMEs.
Female business owners also plan on working more hours and spending less time with their families this Christmas to compensate for the adverse effects of Covid-19 on their businesses.
32 per cent of women expect to work extra hours this Christmas, compared with 25 per cent of men.
“Christmas itself will of course be different for all of us, but it’s even more concerning that so many business owners are worried that they may not have a business to go back to in 2020,” said Seema Desai, chief operating officer of iwoca.
“Christmas won’t be an easy time for many business owners this year as they juggle to keep their businesses afloat whilst some will try to spend quality time with their families or loved ones.”