Tuesday, 16 April 2013

March freeze costs UK small businesses £174m, says the FSB

More than half (55%) of UK small firms have been impacted financially by the recent prolonged cold weather, costing them £174m, according to the findings of a new survey from the Federation of Small Businesses.

The research showed that around six in 10 small businesses were impacted by the cold snap and that loss of demand (30%) and closures (26%) were the common impacts. Of those who closed or temporarily stopped trading, an average of 2.2 days was lost. Furthermore, around 27% of firms had staff absent for at least one day. The FSB says that, on average, each business lost £1,580.

In addition to the effects of the cold snap, one in five businesses also said they had been negatively impacted by the flooding in 2012. 

Mike Cherry, the FSB’s national policy chairman, said: "We may finally have turned a corner into spring, but it's been a long haul, following the coldest March in 100 years. While a few businesses have managed to take advantage of the weather many have found it difficult to manage. Not only have they had to cope with a lack of demand for products, but many have had to close.

"Our fear is that this prolonged cold spell will mean people are travelling by car to supermarkets or out-of-town shopping centres rather than utilising local shops. We need people to keep trade local and support local businesses that may be struggling as a result of the weather."

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