Taking Bank Holidays Costs UK Small Businesses Over £2,500 Each Year

The month of May sees two Bank Holidays (2nd and 30th May), but British small business owners stand to lose an average of £506[1] during May and £2,163[2] annually by choosing not to operate and instead take the extra day’s rest over long weekends.

A study of 1,500 UK small business owners by Yell Business reveals that ‘shutting up shop’ on any given Bank Holiday costs an average of £253[3] per day, with 62 per cent[4] of the nation’s small business owners choosing to do so.

On average sole traders lose out on £263, which is £105 more than micro businesses owners[5] who lose £158 by closing their services.

  • Nationally, Scotland is the most expensive country in the UK for small business owners to take Bank Holidays at £479 per day, or £4,311 annually[6].
  • England comes next at £256 per Bank Holiday or £2,048 annually[7].
  • Northern Ireland is third at £139 per day or £1,390 annually[8].
  • But it’s business owners in Wales who lose out on the least revenue, at £123 per Bank Holiday, or £984 every year[9].
  • However, 38 per cent of small business owners remain open over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Mark Clisby, Marketing Director at Yell Business said: ‘Although small business owners can lose out on revenue by closing for the Bank Holiday, it’s important to balance this with the benefits that ‘time off’ can have. As a small business owner, taking a break from the day-to-day responsibilities of work, allowing time to clear your head, spending time with your family or maybe even focusing on how you want to develop your business, are all important things to take into consideration.

However you plan to spend your time over the Bank Holiday, 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 really clear to customers when they will be able to use your services again.’

[1] Nationwide average
[2] Nationwide average (taking into consideration variable numbers of Holidays per country in the UK)
[3] Nationwide average (taking into consideration variable numbers of Holidays per country in the UK)
[4] 925 of those who were surveyed choose to close over Bank Holiday. 43% of these said they do lose money, 57% said they don’t
[5] Businesses employing 2-10 people
[6] There are 9 Bank holidays in Scotland annually
[7] There are 8 Bank Holidays in England annually
[8] There are 10 Bank Holidays in Ireland annually
[9] There are 9 Bank Holidays in Wales annually


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