Struggling business owners burning candle at both ends

More corporate insolvencies are the last thing the small business world wants to see, so what are company owners doing to keep bankruptcy from their doors? They're working 65 hours a week in some cases, that's what.

Number crunchers at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester Business Banking have been looking into the lengths small-firm owners are going to in a bid to keep their businesses afloat. And it turns out one in six are reaching the 65-hour mark most weeks.

Overall, just over a third agree they're putting in longer hours than they were a year ago, with the average boss clocking up 47 hours per week. That's just an hour below the European Working Time Directive's maximum.

Abbey and Alliance & Leicester's Paula Ickinger notes the dire effect the phenomenon is having on the work-life balance of business bosses: "Not only do business owners have a very tough economic climate to contend with, they've also been burdened with mounting piles of red tape and bureaucracy at the same time, which can distract them from the running of their business."

They need as much help as they can get, she concludes – not least from their business banks.