The Federation of Small Businesses has released figures to support their belief that the late March freeze cost UK SMEs a great deal of money. According to the FSB, over half of all SMEs were impacted by the cold weather that continued on throughout a great deal of the spring. They estimate that these businesses lost a total of £174m.
According to the FSB, on average every business lost about £1,500. It is estimated that about 55% of all small firms in the UK were affected by the sustained poor weather. About six out of every ten small businesses were found to be negatively affected by the extended cold spell according to FSB research. The survey suggested that 30% suffered from a loss of demand whereas closures affected another 26%.
Out of those the SMEs that were forced to temporarily stop trading or close their doors due to the weather on average about 2.2 days were lost. Another 27% of firms stated that they had to deal with absent staff as a result of the poor weather for at least one day if not more. One out of five businesses additional reported that they had been affected by flooding at some point in 2012.
National Policy Chairman from the FSB, Mike Cherry, stated that the spring may have signalled a corner being turned but it’s still going to take some time for businesses to recover. Cherry explained that March was the coldest that it has been in the past 100 years and while a couple of businesses could take advantage of this most have had a hard time managing.
Cherry continued to say that they fear that the continued cold spell will encourage more people to travel via car to shopping centres or supermarkets instead of using the local shops. He added that despite the weather people need to make efforts to shop locally.