Adverse Weather Costs Small Businesses £2.1bn

  • 38% forced to close during recent cold snaps
  • 41% unable to remain fully staffed

Adverse Weather Costs Small Businesses GBP2.1bnOver a third of the UK’s small businesses had to close during last year’s extreme weather conditions at an estimated cost of £2.1bn, according to a survey of 397 SME owners conducted by small business telecom and broadband specialist XLN Telecom.

38% of respondents stated that they were forced to close for between 1 and 4 days, whilst 41% were unable to retain a full workforce as a result of the poor weather.

The importance of personal service for small businesses was also echoed, with 75% of those surveyed counting face-to-face contact as vital to the running of their business.

The results also highlight the impact of shutting up shop on turnover: 31% of those questioned predicted losses of between £500 and £1000 for each day of lost trading, whilst 18% calculated this to be over £1000.

XLN’s founder and managing director, Christian Nellemann, comments:

“While many small businesses were able to ensure normal service was maintained, this was simply not possible for a significant minority. If you look at the figures for business downtime and extrapolate them to the UK’s micro-business community, the loss to the economy could be estimated at over £2.1billion.”

“SMEs, which are up against VAT increases, banks’ reluctance to lend and new pension requirements, need to remain resilient. They make a major contribution to the economy and government should provide the support needed to preserve the growth and mobility of this sector in 2011.”

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