Hard Working Small Businesses Contribute £22bn to UK Economy

Almost one fifth of small business owners work over 60 hours a week

New research has revealed that overtime worked by small businesses is worth an estimated £22bn to the UK economy, over 1% of the annual GDP.

According to a report by digital lender Everline and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), four out of five small business owners worked overtime last month, with 18% working over 60 hours a week.

The report, which included a survey of 1,000 small firms, revealed that 52% of small business owners plan to work on at least one bank holiday over the next 12 months, with 12% expecting to work this Boxing Day and 13% on New Year’s Day. This, according to Everline, will lead to a boost of £1.7bn to next year’s economy.

The majority of respondents state that working overtime is essential to ensure the smooth running of their business, with CEBR and Everline representatives stating that the extra hours are being spent on administrative and marketing tasks rather than business development and strategy due to a lack of resources and skilled employees.

Furthermore the survey found that older business owners work more hours compared to younger entrepreneurs – 13 hours to the younger generation’s nine hours in the last month – and are more likely to do their own marketing, administration and finance.

Sam Alderson, economist at CEBR, commented on the findings:

“A shortage of skills is constraining the ability of businesses to expand their resources and as such decision-makers are being forced to take on responsibility for greater range of functions.

“While small business owners should be applauded for their dedication and hard work, it’s a shame that these qualities are being devoted to tasks such as administration rather than strategy and business development; areas that could translate into sustainable growth for the small business sector.”

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