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23 December 2014

FSB warning as more than half of small firms without flood plan

Reference number: PR 2014 43

FSB Press Release

Strict Embargo: 00:01 Tuesday 23 December 2014

FSB warning as more than half of small firms without flood plan

New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that three out of five (59%) of the small business they questioned did not have a plan in place to deal with extreme weather conditions such as floods and snow storms.

This news comes despite the news that two thirds (66%) 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 3200 commercial properties were flooded in the UK. With such extreme weather events on the increase small business need all the help they can get to make sure they can stay open whatever the weather.

"We remain concerned 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. Firms need to be reassured that affordable flood insurance will be available in the future. Currently three in 10 (29%) do not have the right cover in place.

"The Environment Agency has produced advice for businesses on how to make a flood plan, and we want to make sure businesses are getting all the information, finance and support they need to deal with extreme weather."

Damage caused by last year''s floods cost firms in affected areas an average of £1,531. By protecting against such disruption, small firms can continue operating and avoid financial difficulties.

Of those businesses affected by extreme weather, the biggest problems reported, were disruption to staff and customers (46%) and disruption to suppliers, utilities and transport arrangements (32%).

With the potential for further bad weather as we enter 2015, the FSB is calling for more businesses to put a extreme weather plan in place. Examples of extreme weather plans and comprehensive guide to putting one in place can be found from the Environment Agency website.

Mike Cherry concluded: "Small businesses need to get better prepared for extreme weather. However, we know that despite wind, water or fire, many small businesses do manage to stay open and continue to serve their customers. When disasters hit we would encourage people to continue to support their local businesses, many of which stay open whatever the weather."

Key Findings

  • 66% of small businesses were impacted by flooding, drought or snow in the past three years.

  • 59% of small businesses have no resilience plans to combat extreme weather.

  • 29% of businesses do not have insurance for business interruption (loss of income, costs incurred) or damage caused to property by flooding.