Prospa study reveals extent of small business sacrifice over Christmas period

Tom Watson

06 Dec 2019

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There’s a commonly held idea that in order to make it as a small business you really need to put in the long hours and hard work, and a new study released by business lender Prospa this week has confirmed how true this can be.  

According to the survey of 506 small businesses across Australia commissioned by Prospa, many business owners are making major sacrifices over the holiday period when it comes to taking time off - or rather, not taking it. 

Half of all small business owners (49%) surveyed admitted that they would only be taking public holidays off, or no days off at all, over the 2019/20 Christmas and New Year period, while 57% reported that they would be working the same number of hours as usual. 

The survey showed that this is a trend that runs throughout the year though, with 39% of small business owners revealing that they hadn’t taken more than a few days off in over a year, or since they started their business. 

To put that into perspective, a 2018 study from travel aggregator Expedia found that the average Australian worker takes 14 days of leave each year.

RELATED: Australian businesses set to capitalise on projected $52.7 billion Christmas spending spree

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

“The pressure is on during this time of year, whether they’re a small retailer stocking up for holiday sales or a beachside café 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.”  

The research also revealed a marked difference between small businesses in regional and metro areas. 

56% of regional small business owners stated that they were only planning on taking public holidays off, or no time off at all, over the holiday period, compared to 45% of small businesses in metro areas. 

There was a similar trend in relation to taking days off throughout the year, with regional businesses more likely to have not taken a holiday in over a year (46%) compared to their metro-based counterparts (36%).

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So what are the reasons behind the results?     

It’s perhaps not surprising, but the Prospa survey revealed that 45% of small business owners simply couldn’t afford to take time off, while 42% said they would be concerned about their businesses cash flow if they shut up shop. 

And despite the prospect of working over the holiday period with little time off, a majority of owners (53%) still reported feeling optimistic about the impact the holidays would have for their businesses. 

According to Prospa, one way Aussie businesses can give themselves a boost over the Christmas and New Year period is with some additional finance, with 57% of survey respondents reporting that they would benefit from extra funding.

“Small businesses are aware of the benefit that accessing extra funding would bring to their business, but many still aren’t aware of the different options out there to help them grow and run their business,” said Bertoli. 

“I encourage small business owners across Australia to chat to their brokers and accountants about funding solutions that can give their business a boost. Alternative lenders like Prospa offer fast access to funding so businesses can really thrive during this end of year period.” 

RELATED: Why Prospa’s special offer could be perfect for businesses preparing for Christmas

Think your business could make use of a loan or other form of finance over the holidays? 

Check out the hot business loan offers (including Prospa’s) in the table above, or for even more options, head over to the Mozo business loans comparison table where you’ll be able to compare loans from both banks and online lenders.

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