Happy New Year — do you have a flood plan?
The winter so far has not brought the devastation that many parts of the country experienced in 2013/14 when storms and high tides left many businesses struggling to get back on their feet in the face of lost production, wrecked premises and delayed orders.
It seems however that many smaller firms are simply keeping their fingers crossed that the weather will continue to be kind, given that three out of five have no plans in place to deal with extreme conditions such as floods and snow storms.
This is the finding of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) which said that this was despite the fact that two-thirds of small businesses have been hit by flooding, drought or snow over the last three years.
“Last year was the wettest winter on record and 3200 commercial properties were flooded in the UK,” FSB National Policy Chairman Mike Cherry said. “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.”
Damage caused by last year’s floods cost firms in affected areas an average of £1531. By protecting against such disruption, Mr Cherry pointed out, small firms can continue operating and avoid financial difficulties.
With the potential for further bad weather in the weeks ahead, the FSB is calling for more businesses to put an extreme weather plan in place.
Mr Cherry said that the Federation was also 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,” he said. “Currently 3 in 10 (29%) do not have the right cover in place.”