COVID-19 creates added stress in small business community


MYOB and Smiling Mind launch specialised program to help small business owners reduce stress and anxiety

New research from MYOB reveals two thirds (66%) of small businesses feel COVID-19 has impacted their mental wellbeing, with 58% revealing the pandemic has negatively impacted their business.

The research, conducted with more than 1,200 small business owners and operators, has been released by MYOB to coincide with the launch of a new partnership with leading Australian not-for-profit in the preventative mental health space, Smiling Mind.

The new partnership will see four dedicated modules launched in the leading Smiling Mind app to help small business owners take proactive steps to manage their mental health. The modules include Mindfulness Foundations, Stress Management, Relationships and Resilience, and were designed to help small business owners manage the unique range of stressors and challenges they face on a regular basis.

MYOB Chief Employee Experience Officer, Helen Lea, said the launch of the new content has come at a time when small business owners really need it.

“This new research shows that 67% of respondents have experienced feelings of stress or anxiety trying to work around the new restrictions put in place in relation to COVID-19.

“We have been talking to small businesses about their mental health and wellbeing for the last couple of years and working with Smiling Mind on this partnership for the last six months. We could not have known how important these conversations would become as small businesses face a pandemic and business operating restrictions.

“As rewarding as it can be, running a small business brings with it a range of stressors and challenges. The research found that over the journey of running a small business, respondents have felt increased feelings of stress (64%) and anxiety (62%). Partnering with Smiling Mind to enable them to create dedicated content for the 2.4 million small businesses in Australia is one way we can help this community,” Ms. Lea added.

66% of respondents take time for their mental health, but 28% say they know they should but they don’t have time. Managing cash flow and financial issues, long hours, work-life balance, feeling isolated, wearing multiple hats and a general feeling of responsibility for the businesses success or failure bring with it stress and anxiety. This new program is designed to help manage those feelings.

Smiling Mind’s Co-Founder and Chair, Jane Martino, has been a deep participant in the Australian technology scene as a founder, investor, and advisor to high profile start-ups.

/Public Release.