By Daniel Hunter

A whopping two thirds of the UK's microbusinesses are having to relying on friends and family in order to stay afloat, according to Lloyds Bank Insurance.

The report found that red tape and growing bureaucracy in employment are preventing business owners from taking on new staff, forcing them to rely on friends and family to carry out most unpaid work.

Lloyds said they spend an average of six hours per week helping businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Friends and relatives often help out with things like managing social media accounts and childcare.

The study found that 40% do pay their friends and family an average £14 an hour for their support, more than half are not able to pay anything. Lloyds suggested that the UK's family support economy could therefore be worth more than £64 million a week.