Despite restrictions having been in place for many weeks at this point, many entrepreneurs are reporting an improvement in their mental health compared to in the fall.
According to a recent report from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), back in August 2020, with more businesses open and restrictions having eased, 39 per cent of entrepreneurs reported feeling depressed at least once a week.
In November 2020, when cases began to rise, and businesses were forced to close, that number rose to 47 per cent.
In March 2021, with vaccines on the horizon, and many starting to see a light at the end of the more than 14-month long tunnel, the number of entrepreneurs experiencing depression at least once a week dropped to 40 per cent.
“Looking back across our surveys, we see a yo-yo effect: As COVID-19 cases rise and fall, so does the mental health of entrepreneurs,” Annie Marsolais, chief marketing officer and mental health advocate for BDC, said in a news release.
“We have seen incredible resiliency from business owners despite the instability around them. That said, compared to previous surveys, in March they were more concerned about the health impact of COVID-19 on themselves and their family (43 per cent) and significantly fewer (12 per cent) wanted to seek the support of a professional. We are here to remind entrepreneurs that they are not alone in feeling this way and it’s okay to talk about it,” she continued.
Forty-seven per cent of business owners reported outdoor activities as their top coping mechanism, while 47 per cent said it was exercising, and 31 per cent said it was talking to someone.
Based on the findings, 55 per cent of entrepreneurs said they felt stress at least once per week about their business’ financial cash flow, 52 per cent said they felt stress at least once per week about the impact of the pandemic on their business, 43 per cent said they felt stress at least once per week about the pandemic’s effect on their health and the health of their family, 42 per cent said they felt stress at least once per week about the survival of their business, and 25 per cent said they felt stress at least once per week about being able to find the right employees.