Small Businesses Threatened by Snow and Cold Weather
UK small businesses are expected to be hard-hit by snow and icy weather conditions
Yet again we find ourselves in the midst of a cold snap, amid complaints of ill preparation, insufficient grit levels and inaccurate weather reports, and once again, business groups have warned that the onslaught of snow and icy weather could jeopardise the future of hundreds of SMEs across the UK.
The Federation of Small Businesses said its members were “particularly hard-hit”, while the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) claim that as many as 800-900 small businesses are under threat from freezing weather conditions.
In particular, they warned that businesses in the hospitality industry such as bars and restaurants are most likely to suffer, as cash-flow is vital. Firms from other sectors, such as the construction industry, will be more likely to suffer a temporary hit as they are forced to put projects on hold until conditions improve.
Retail and leisure companies could lose out entirely.
“Quite a lot of small businesses are quite close to the brink now,” said Mr McWilliams, chief executive of the CEBR, according to the BBC. “I think at least a few hundred, maybe as many as 800 or 900, could go bankrupt that otherwise wouldn’t have because this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
There are various estimates as to the financial damage that the cold snap could bring. Following the last bout of snow and icy weather, the CEBR claim that about one-fifth of the economy is affected, costing about ┬ú1bn every day.
Chris Gorman at the Forum for Private Business claim that around ┬ú250m is lost, with 10% of the workforce affected.
Research from the Federation of Small Businesses suggests that 4 in 10 of its members made preparations to allow staff to work from home, 3 in 10 were preparing to offer flexible working hours, and 1 in 5 had their own grit supply, for shop fronts and pavements.
Has your business been affected by the weather ΓÇô and what measures have you taken to combat the problems caused by snow, freezing temperatures and icy roads?