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15 April 2013

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

Reference number: PR 2013 18

FSB News Release
PR 2013 18
 
March freeze costs UK small businesses £174 million, says the FSB
 
More than half (55%) of UK small firms have been impacted financially by the recent prolonged cold weather costing them £174 million. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says that on average each business lost £1,580 according to the findings of a new survey.
 
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 per cent of firms had staff absent for at least one day.
 
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, National Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, 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."
 
ENDS
 
Notes to Editors
 
1. The FSB is the UK''s leading business organisation with around 200,000 members. It exists to protect and promote the interests of the UK''s Real-Life Entrepreneurs, and all those who run their own business. More information is available at www.fsb.org.uk
 
2. The figures are based on a snap poll of FSB members, carried out by Research by Design, between 4 and 8 April 2013 which received 1,603 responses. To find out more visit www.fsb.org.uk/fsb-survey-panel
 
3. 55 per cent of 200,000 FSB members equals 110,000 businesses. If each of these businesses lost £1,580 the total cost would be £173,800,000 or £174 million.
 
Spokespeople are available for media interviews

FSB media contacts
 

Liesl Smith: 020 7592 8128 / 07917 628926 liesl.smith@fsb.org.uk
Sara Crane: 020 7592 8113 / 07595 067068 sara.crane@fsb.org.uk