The number of self-employed people continues to rise and now totals 15.1 per cent of all those in work. FSB research reveals that isolation and working alone is one of the top three challenges of self-employment (25%), and a report by Aldermore (March 2017) revealed that over a third (39%) of Brits say they have felt lonely since becoming their own boss.
Now small businesses have been encouraged to join in The Great Get Together on 22 – 24 June.
Inspired by Jo Cox, which would have been Jo’s 44th birthday, FSB is partnering with the initiative to encourage small businesses and the self-employed to join in, either by organising a get together or going along to one in their area.
Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “We welcome and support The Great Get Together and other work the Jo Cox Foundation is doing to tackle the UK’s epidemic of loneliness. Loneliness can damage our economy by around £32 billion per annum and cost employers an estimated £2.5 billion a year. Loneliness can diminish productivity and creativity, both of which are so vital to the success of the small business community. A community which accounts for an annual turnover of £1.9 trillion a year – 51 per cent of all private sector turnover in the UK.
Jo Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said: “Jo loved a celebration and, speaking as a proud Yorkshire lass, nobody can rival us for the best parties, but there are so many wonderful events planned for the end of June that I wish I could get to all of them. Britain is once again coming together to show our country at its best. Whether it’s the big community gatherings or the dozens of smaller events, including boat races, musical extravaganzas and street parties, this will be a weekend to remember.
“I’m touched by how many people say they remember my sister’s words in Parliament when she said we have more in common than that which divides us. On June 22-24 we can prove her right and help continue the work she started.
“I hope everybody who gets involved has an amazing time."
Being a small business owner can often be very lonely – with no-one to share the responsibility and no-one to talk to about worries or concerns. This can escalate into mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. FSB is urging small business owners and the self-employed to join in The Great Get Together.
More people than ever are taking the brave decision to become their own boss, and with a growing number of self-employed people running their business from home because of a number of factors, including high business rates and technological advances, they can be at risk from loneliness and isolation. FSB offers free business networking throughout the UK called FSB Connect.