62% of minority business owners feel burnt out, survey finds
Being a small business owner is always stressful, but the past two years have been even harder than usual. Many businesses closed – temporarily and, in some cases, permanently – during pandemic shutdowns, and once things got back up and running, many small businesses faced staffing issues amid the Great Resignation and supply chain issues that made it more expensive to keep their businesses afloat.
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Amidst so much turmoil, it’s no wonder so many small business owners feel burned out. But a recent Capital One Business survey found that some small business owners are doing worse than others.
Minority business owners are more likely to report feeling burnt out
Overall, 42% of small business owners are currently suffering from burnout or have experienced it in the past month, according to the Capital One survey. However, 62% of minority-owned business owners reported the same experience.
“From my conversations with small business owners, I am aware of the unique challenges that small businesses have faced over the past two years and that many still face a difficult road to recovery,” said Jenn. Flynn, head of small business banking at Capital Un. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been troubling for the entire small business community, and the acute impact on minority-owned businesses has been particularly troubling. .”
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Flynn notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened already existing disparities between financial assistance available to minority and non-minority small business owners.
“Minority business owners have long faced a disproportionate number of challenges, namely lack of access to capital and unmet credit needs, and these barriers have only been exacerbated by the pandemic,” she said. “The combination of these pre-existing inequalities and pandemic-related concerns like rising inflation, staffing issues and supply chain disruptions likely contribute to the disproportionate rate at which minority-owned businesses are experiencing exhaustion.”
Another factor could be the demands that minority business owners face outside of the workplace.
“A Capital One Business survey this summer found that, compared to their non-Black counterparts (39%), Black business owners (61%) are significantly more likely to have taken a public stance on a social issue. . Balancing the day-to-day demands of running a business and using their platform to speak out on behalf of their community in light of recent social and racial justice movements could also contribute to higher levels of burnout” , Flynn said.
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Nearly a quarter of minority small business owners face constant mental exhaustion
The survey also revealed that 23% of minority-owned business owners experienced constant mental exhaustion in the past year due to the stress of running their business.
“Many small business owners are having a hard time walking away from work during the pandemic,” Flynn said. “More than half of business owners say they haven’t taken a vacation in the past year. Many say they feel exhausted and mentally drained, with a third admitting they haven’t been able to sleep a good night since the start of the pandemic.
To combat this mental exhaustion, it’s imperative that small business owners take much-needed breaks and pay more attention to work-life balance.
“Business owners can take small steps to recharge,” Flynn said. “Promoting self-care, taking time off (even brief), being active, and practicing mindfulness will do wonders in the long run. Our survey shows that business owners make self-care a priority, with 57% pledging to make new resolutions and commit to wellness in the coming year. »
As consumers, we can make an effort to support minority-owned small businesses to alleviate some of the stress.
“The best way to support and strengthen minority-owned businesses is to divert more buying power to those businesses throughout the year,” Flynn said.
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Despite difficulties, minority business owners remain optimistic
The Capital One survey found that minority-owned business owners have a generally positive outlook for 2022, even more so than the overall population of small business owners.
“While minority business owners experienced higher levels of burnout and burnout, they also reported greater optimism than any other group of business owners, according to our survey,” Flynn said. “In fact, 75% of minority business owners expect their work-life balance to improve in the first half of 2022, and 78% expect business conditions in their region to improve. These higher levels of optimism – compared to the general population of business owners at 52% and 63% respectively – speak to the resilience and ingenuity of this community.
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