Skip To The Main Content
11 February 2014

Tube strike costs hundreds of businesses time and money - threatening economic growth says the FSB

Reference number: PR 2014 06

FSB News Release
PR 2014 06
Embargoed to 00:01 Tuesday 11 February 2014
Tube strike costs hundreds of businesses time and money - threatening economic growth says the FSB
The London underground strikes in early February cost London small businesses £600 million in lost working hours, business and productivity, according to new figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
As London gears up for another strike, due to start at 21:00 on Tuesday 11 February, the FSB reveals London businesses negatively affected by the strikes lost an average £1,297 each according to a snap poll of its members.
In London, 58 per cent of members were negatively affected by the shut down with most saying cancelled meetings (59%), staff absences (43%) and difficulty transporting goods and services (18%) were the main problems. However, many businesses also say loss of demand for goods and fewer customers also caused problems.
And, although the underground strike was contained in London, FSB members in the south east were also negatively affected (21%) with cancelled meetings being the main problem for almost two thirds of firms (61%) in the region.
The FSB is concerned that even though confidence and optimism is picking up across small businesses, the strikes will have a negative effect on productivity and could impact a business''s relationship with its clients.
John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
"The capital is bracing itself for more disruption this week as another round of strikes is due to take place. With small firms estimating a cost of £600 million across the capital, they are rightly concerned about the impact a second round would have. And, as the ripples could be felt outside London, the economy just can''t afford that right now. We would encourage businesses to look at contingency plans for the next planned action. Ultimately, those businesses where staff and customers rely on the tube could be put at a further disadvantage."
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 who run their own business. More information is available at and follow on twitter @fsb_hq.
2. The figures are based on a snap poll of FSB members, carried out by Research by Design, between Thursday 6 and Monday 10 February which received 627 responses. To find out more visit
3. The Office for National Statistics reports there are 806,430 businesses in London. Of these 99.2 per cent are small firms with less than 50 employees. 99.2 per cent of 806,430 is 799,979.
4. The cost to London businesses was found by multiplying the mean amount lost by the percentage reporting negative impact across all businesses. So £1,279 x 463,988 (58% (number negatively affected) of 799,979 small firms in London). This equals £593,440,652 = £600 million
Media contacts:
Liesl Smith: 020 7592 8128 / 07917 628926
Sara Crane: 020 7592 8113 / 07595 067068
James Gribben: 020 7592 8121 / 07854 987974
Lucy Bell-Reeves: 020 7592 8116 / 07595 801773

For regional FSB contacts please go to