No rest for SMEs this holiday season

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working in the holidays

A new study has revealed just how hard small businesses are working this holiday season, particularly in regional Australia.

The survey of 506 small business owners was commissioned by Prospa, an online lender to small business and conducted by PureProfile

As corporates and big business start to wind down across the country, the survey showed that more than half of small business owners won’t be cutting down their hours over the holiday season. More than half of small business owners surveyed said they will work either more or the same number of hours during this time, and half said they were planning to take only public holidays off or no days at all.

While the average Australian takes 14 days of leave each year, four in 10 small business owners admitted they hadn’t had a break of more than a few days in over a year or even since they began their business. Despite this, around half still feel guilty about the idea of taking a holiday.

The research further showed that regional businesses in particular are putting in the hard yards this holiday season.

Regional businesses were less likely than their metro counterparts to find the holiday period a quiet time of year and were more likely to report working more or the same hours during this time. Regional businesses were also more likely than metro businesses to feel guilty about taking a holiday. Skipping holidays was also more common among regional business owners.

“Today’s research reinforces that hardworking small business owners in Australia don’t get much of a break, even over the holiday season,” Prospa co-founder and joint CEO Beau Bertoli said.

“The pressure is on during this time of year, whether they’re a small retailer stocking up for holiday sales or a beachside cafe needing extra staff for peak tourist season. Even those experiencing a quiet period can find it hard to properly switch off when they have bills, rent, and wages to cover.”

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