In a time marked by economic challenges, new research reveals that over half of the UK’s small business owners are gearing up to work on Christmas Day.
Though the holiday is usually a time business owners turn off their computers, many believe that continuing to work is necessary to keep their enterprises afloat during the cost of living crisis.
Sacrificing Festivities For Business Survival
According to the new study from ANNA Money, an AI-powered business account provider, a significant 59% of small and medium enterprise (SME) owners plan to spend December 25th working, rather than enjoying traditional holiday festivities.
This group anticipates spending the day responding to emails, managing general business such as payroll and invoice processing, and attending to other unexpected responsibilities.
Christmas for these business owners is set to include a range of tasks, from caring for livestock and handling hospitality duties to responding to medical emergencies and technical issues like car and boiler breakdowns.
Some will even be servicing wind turbines, highlighting the varied nature of the work small business owners undertake.
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Limited Time Off During Festive Season
The study also revealed that 45% of SME owners plan to take just three days off over the Christmas period, a decision heavily influenced by the cost of living crisis.
This contrasts sharply with the general workforce, many of whom are planning to take ten days off, from December 22nd to January 1st.
ANNA co-CEO Boris Diakonov commented on the findings, expressing admiration for the hard work and sacrifices made by small business owners. “Running a profitable company has never been more challenging,” Diakonov said, acknowledging the critical role these businesses play in communities and the broader economy.
The Backbone Of The UK’s Economy
Small businesses are a vital part of the UK’s economic landscape.
As of early 2023, the Federation of Small Businesses reported that there are 5.5 million small businesses in the UK, making up 99.9% of the total business population. These SMEs contribute significantly to employment and have an estimated turnover of £2.4 trillion.
Navigating the Festive Season with Resilience
As the festive season approaches, it’s clear that the landscape for small business owners in the UK is different from the traditional holiday experience.
Faced with the challenges of the cost of living crisis, these entrepreneurs are demonstrating remarkable dedication by choosing to work through Christmas. Their commitment not only reflects the personal sacrifices they are making but also shows the vital role these businesses play in the UK’s economy.
Moving forward, broader economic measures will be crucial in ensuring these businesses not only survive but thrive in the face of adversity.