The Covid-19 pandemic had an effect on almost everyone in one way or another. Small businesses, however, took the hardest hit leading to a decline in mental health.
The pandemic brought out mental health problems that may previously not have been diagnosed or recognised by individuals. This could have been brought on due to constant interaction with families or having no income, causing stress and unpaid bills. Throughout the pandemic, research shows there was roughly an 8% increase in general mental health problems, this was mostly seen in young adults and females. The most common mental health problem caused by the pandemic was anxiety, stress, and depression.
Effect on businesses
The overall effect on family businesses due to Covid-19 was that many would shut down either due to the lack of money they were able to put into the business to keep it going or due to fallouts between the family leading to people quitting. These two points have a correlation and one may be the result of the other happening however, the causes were both the same.
Many businesses were never able to reopen after the lockdown ended and required further support to do so. Due to this, there was further stress caused as families now had no direct income, and although there was the furlough scheme set in place this was not enough for some businesses. Further problems have also been created because of the stress such as fatigue and a lack of motivation, showing just how easy it is to become depressed once the cycle starts.
With many people not knowing how to fix the current problem they faced, it made it even harder to create a new idea to rebuild or restructure to the new government rules. Following this, businesses also had to prepare for yet another lockdown with sales still barely returning to normal after the previous year.
How can the current situation be fixed?
With most people working from home, businesses that were able to sell their products online changed the way the companies worked in an attempt to continue sales during the lockdown. This was one of the most successful ways to prevent a business from going under. However, not every business was able to do this and in some cases, it required some setup cost or space to move stock/products in-house.
Moreover, mental health problems are a lot more difficult to fix and may come at some cost such as counselling. Problems such as stress and anxiety can be helped by certain events or people and so this can all depend on the living situation during the lockdown, and how much help is available from the people around you.
Overall, the pandemic had a huge effect on both family businesses and people's mental health, and together, they were drastic problems. It changed many people's businesses forever.