A new survey of small business owners indicates that 52 percent have experienced negative health effects, both physically and mentally, from the recession.

The survey of 713 small business owners across the United States by management consulting firm George S. May International also found that 27 percent do not have the financial resources to weather the next quarter.

“These survey results show that small business owners must take action immediately to not only save their business, but to save their lives,” said May managing director Paul Rauseo.

Eighty percent of the respondents give their business a nine-month lifespan if economic conditions do not improve, 16 percent said three months and four percent reported six months of survival. 

The survey also found that 41 percent of small business owners did not draw a salary in 2009 in order to stay in business, while 20 percent have had to pull money from their personal 401(k) account, and 80 percent said they have reduced the number of employees.

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