Today, and with the permission of the sender, I have published a message sent to me from a small business owner now struggling.
I have of course pointed the sender in the right direction as to where additional help and support is available, however they would like you to read, it as it will, if nothing else, give all of you an insight into what SMEs are going through right now and if you are in the same position will prove, not that proof is needed, that you are not the only one struggling.
“Sorry it’s been so long but I’ve really struggled with my mental health this year.
Unfortunately, my business became insolvent earlier this year. The decision was made by HMRC.
Over the last few weeks <name of bank removed> have been hounding us for repayments, the LTD company is insolvent, yet they are still chasing.
My business is dependent on the hospitality industry – the 5th biggest in the UK – in good times we can make in excess of £20k per month on profit. Since the pandemic started, we have barely even hit half of that in turn over.
The way I look at it is I am part of the hospitality industry – which in our time of need has been allocated through local authorities on average less than £50 a business. That doesn’t include me. I’ve spent months trying to start a business and grow it and until recently I could pay my bills independently through interim contracts.
Now because of the scaremongering the ministers have put into the public affecting the hospitality industry these people are getting contracts cut short.
That means not only I can’t afford to live but several other people are now having to register for UC because of their scare tactics. I’ve just had Covid for the second time.
First time I was really poorly and thought that I may need to be in hospital. This time round I had a migraine for three days and otherwise was just poorly. Not sick, not ill. Just a bit poorly.
I have no intention of paying my BBL back because a) the LTD company was made insolvent by our government but more importantly b) just out of genuine principal.
I’ve had to sell my car, not been able to move forwards in life and actually have court dates because I can’t pay my council tax because my livelihood was taken away by a pandemic.
I hadn’t traded long enough to qualify for any kind of furlough or self-employed grant. I was left on UC getting a total of 16% of my bills.
I am in debt, suffering badly with my mental health and at times struggling to face the day through no fault of my own. Most days I cry because I feel I have let my family down. I’ve been offered no guidance by the UC after asking several times if I can access courses.
I’ve tried launching other businesses without grants, financial aid and yet still managed to employ two people through the kick start scheme yet since March last year I’ve not been able to take a wage and created more personal debt to try and change our situation.
I don’t want handouts; I don’t want pity but what I’d love is one full night’s sleep without waking up in a cold sweat or from nightmares.
I just want to be able to live and be happy again. I’m happy for you to share this (obviously without sharing my name) but I want other people in my situation to know that they aren’t alone feeling like this.
We as small business owners are the backbone of this country and struggling with this current world. We all have people who love us, and we aren’t failures, we’re just collateral damage of a poorly ran country.
We will bounce back, and we will strive again.
Thank you for all the info you provide and the good work you are doing for all the SME’s across the country. As much as I haven’t been in touch, I follow your posts and read daily.
I hope you have a great Christmas and thank you once again.”