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One third of SME owners haven’t holidayed since opening for business

A nation-wide survey has found one third of SME owners are sacrificing holiday time with family and friends, in order to keep their businesses up and running.

“The most concerning result from this MYOB Business Monitor is that so many self-made business people have not taken a break at all. This has big implications for their wellbeing,” MYOB CEO Tim Reed said.

The MYOB Business Monitor found that of the third of business owners who had not holidayed since starting their business, 33 percent were baby boomers. Fewer younger business owners were willing to make this sacrifice, with only 23 percent of Generation Y missing out on holiday time.

The Monitor found it’s Generation Y run businesses that are most likely to see positive revenue results, with 29 percent seeing a rise, while business owners over 60 are most likely to experience a fall, at 41 percent.

The research found that rising fuel prices, cost cutting and tax compliance paperwork were major causes of stress for SMEs, contributing to a decrease in the number of holidays taken.

“External pressures such as rising fuel prices, weakened cashflow and daunting levels of paperwork are keeping business owners up at night as they head into the most compliance-heavy, end of financial year period since the GST was introduced,” Reed said.

Economic confidence has also hit rock bottom, with just 19 percent of SMEs expecting an improvement in the economy over the next 12 months. This figure is almost half the 35 percent noted in the March 2011 report, and an even larger drop from the confidence felt by 54 percent of SMEs in March 2010. Industries hit hardest by revenue losses include construction and trade and manufacturing and wholesale, down 46 and 45 percent respectively.

As a result, dissatisfaction with Federal Government support has reached near record highs, with 52 percent of respondents unhappy with the government’s current support for SMEs.

Reed believes small businesses require significant support from their networks and the Government, if they’re going to survive the current challenging environment.

“A number of measures presently being discussed to ease the burden on SMEs are a step in the right direction, but the Minister for Small Business faces a disillusioned sector,” he said.

“In fact, their dissatisfaction is now just below the equal highest level recorded in all our MYOB Business Monitor studies.”