Following years of natural disasters and unforeseen world events, now more than ever, businesses and individuals must take the time to heal. The correlation between poor financial health and poor mental health is undeniable and, left untreated, the combination can worsen exponentially. Fortunately, no matter your situation, there is always help available.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly had the most significant impact on businesses in the last three years. Although the Australian Government introduced a number of relief packages to keep Australians afloat (such as jobkeeper), the majority are now ending; exposing businesses to a still very weak and uncertain economy.

The pandemic saw strict regulations and even complete closures, leaving businesses experiencing extreme cash flow issues and accumulating debt. At the height of lockdown, for industries like hospitality, some businesses suffered decreases in trading as significant as 65% in as little as three days. This extreme financial pressure can cause spikes in cortisol, otherwise known as the ‘stress hormone’; potentially causing a number of side effects including:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Poor Sleep
  • Weight Gain
  • Intestinal Problems

Persistently high levels of cortisol have been proven to increase the risk of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. A recent initial study into COVID-19’s impact on mental health in small and micro businesses, conducted by the University of Newcastle, found that uncertainty was one of the most predominant causes of mental anguish. The stage one findings collated interviews of 32 small business owners, revealing that “the unknown” of how long the social distancing, business and border closures would be in effect for was the most challenging impact of the pandemic. 

“Do I grow my business… because I’ve got the opportunity to do that, but do I have the mental capacity for that?” – Small Business Owner (Business Services), Interviewee 

Crucially, times of financial stress are when business owners need good mental health the most. Anxiety and depression can significantly decrease cognitive functioning, impeding one’s ability to make the difficult decisions needed to take control of poor cash flow.

Breaking The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Fortunately, there is help available and seeking it as soon as possible is the best way to break the cycle of financial and mental health decline. 

Reaching out to a friend or family member is a great way to alleviate some pressure, start a conversation and make the first step to improving your health. However, if you’re feeling unsure there are a number of help-lines that offer free, professional advice and you are able to remain anonymous:

Lifeline Australia – Call 13 11 14 (Available 24/7)

Crisis Support. Suicide Prevention.

Beyond Blue – Call 1300 22 4636 (Available 24/7)

Support. Advice. Action.

Professional support is the best way to turnaround your financial situation, too. Talking to a tax and debt specialist (us!) will enable you to create a tailored solution for your business. At Tax Negotiators, we will assess your financial situation and create a payment plan; allowing you to improve your cash flow, repay your debts, avoid insolvency and most importantly, keep your business.

To get started, contact our friendly team here today.


Molloy, C., Handley. K, Faulkner, L., ‘Covid-19 and Small Business Owners: Report on Stage One Findings’, University of Newcastle, Online, 2021, (Accessed 7 June 2022)