SMEs could lose £2,250 by closing on bank holidays, research finds

British SMEs stand to lose as much as £2,250 each if they close on every bank holiday in 2017, according to a new report – including an average of £500 in May alone.

According to research by Yell Business, shutting up shop on any given public holiday costs small businesses an average of £250, which adds up over the course of a year.

The short breaks give consumers a chance to get out and browse shops, and 86 per cent said they view them as a chance to do shopping or use other services.

However, at present just 26 per cent of small businesses are open on bank holidays.

The study also found that only 42 per cent of SMEs in retail, catering and leisure stay open, despite the fact that they are the sectors that could benefit the most.

Closing on bank holidays can give workers vital time off, but firms must leave adequate information for their customers, who may have more time to browse their products.

“While no small business owner will want to lose out on potential revenue, the benefits of time off cannot be underestimated,” said Mark Clisby, product and marketing director at Yell. “Working constantly and not switching off can harm productivity.

‘If you do plan to capitalise on the opportunity posed by consumers on bank holidays, then make sure to book a break over a quieter period.

“On the other hand, if you are choosing to close, our advice would be to ensure you update your website and social channels with your opening times, so it’s clear to customers when they will be able to use your services again.”

According to the survey, the Midlands sees the lowest number of SMEs open on bank holidays, with just 16 per cent opening their doors over the break. Meanwhile, 37 per cent of businesses opened over the period in Yorkshire – the highest rate in the country.

Photo © Jason Taellious (CC BY-SA 2.0). Cropped and blur added.