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How small firms can afford staff wellbeing investment costs

As pressures mount relating to soaring energy and material costs, rising inflation and staff recruitment problems, it is hardly surprising that staff wellbeing is back in the spotlight. But how can small firms afford to invest in employee mental health?

According to Simply Business, three in five small business owners report feeling stressed, with over half suffering from anxiety and just under a third experiencing depression. Tellingly, a new survey from accountants Moore UK reveals that over 90% of small businesses are under acute pressure because of cost increases and related issues.

Following the easing of concerns relating to the pandemic earlier in the year, small businesses have had little time to catch their breadth as the war in Ukraine has led to a new wave of problems. A new spike in Covid cases is causing yet more headaches. The pressure on owners and employees has been relentless. As such, it is not a shock to learn that demand for wellbeing benefits is growing.

What wellbeing support can small firms offer?

The latest version of the Small Business Monitor shows that almost a quarter of employees want more workplace wellbeing support, as well as increased flexible working options, better fitness services, expanded wellness programmes and benefits linked to such practices as cycling to work.

As these findings show, there are many ways to invest in caring for staff wellbeing, but while larger firms have greater resources and flexibility to meet these demands, smaller firms are not so well placed, in particular financially, as they face unprecedented market headwinds.

Investing in staff wellbeing and how alternative finance can help

Despite the pressures on cashflow and capital, it is important that small businesses find the resources to look after the mental health of their staff, both in terms of retainment and recruitment. Key to affording investment is access to finance and this is where alternative finance can help.

In the wake of prolonged caution from traditional lenders, which is an issue that has returned during the pandemic and amid challenging market conditions in 2022, services such as invoice finance, asset finance and peer-to-peer lending are proving a vital source of capital for small businesses, both for maintaining cashflow and for essential investment.

These facilities, which offer a more easily accessible and personalised approach to lending, are helping small businesses survive and target recovery and regrowth. Furthermore, alternative lending has played a prominent role in the government’s headline emergency support scheme, the Recovery Loan Scheme. This profile has helped cement the reputation of alternative finance in the business sector.

Caring for staff mental health and small firm finance options

Small businesses need physically and mentally healthy staff to operate and while finding the money to invest in wellbeing benefits and programmes at present is extremely challenging, it is important that this cash is available. This is why owners need to be aware of all the finance options available to them, including the services of alternative lenders.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact Steve Bowles on 01903 602211 or steve.bowles@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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