Small firms need to have extreme weather plan

Chrissie Duxson

Chrissie Duxson

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Chrissie Duxson of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) encourages small businesses to put an extreme weather plan into place.

New research conducted by the FSB has found that more than half (59 per cent) of small businesses do not have a plan in place to deal with extreme weather conditions such as floods and snow storms.

This news comes despite the fact that two thirds (66 per cent) of small businesses have been negatively impacted by flooding, drought or snow over the last three years.

Mike Cherry, national policy chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Last year was the wettest winter on record and 3,200 commercial properties were flooded in the UK. With such extreme weather events on the increase small businesses need all the help they can get to make sure they can stay open whatever the weather.”

Last winter, a warning for the River Leam was issued after 15mm of rain fell in 24 hours, and flooding on the River Stour covered the Mill Street car park near the B4035.

Damage caused by last year’s floods cost firms in affected areas an average of £1,531. Another concern is that small businesses will not be included in the Government’s Flood Re agreement, designed to limit insurance costs for those at most risk of flooding. Businesses need to be reassured that affordable flood insurance will be available in the future. At the moment 29 per cent of businesses do not have insurance for business interruption or damage caused to property by flooding.

With the potential for further bad weather in 2015, we are calling for more businesses to put an extreme weather plan in place. By protecting against disruption, small firms can continue operating. For more information visit the Environment Agency website.