Risk of washout for businesses this winter

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Bad weather is hitting the revenues of almost half (46 per cent) of all UK small businesses every year, due to a combination of weather damage and their inability to be ‘open for business’.

There are an estimated 4.9m small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK and each risks suffering on average £38,311 worth of damage because of the elements.

As a result, the potential cost to the economy could be as high as £86 billion.

The findings come from a survey of 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses conducted by Towergate Insurance and designed to ascertain the impact of bad and unexpected weather on the UK’s mass of smaller firms.

Weather chaos means small businesses could also lose over three working days of staff time. Over the last five years over half (51 per cent) of businesses have experienced some form of damage through floods, wind and thunderstorms alone.

The survey also reveals 43 per cent of UK SMEs either simply do not have cover or do not know whether they are covered in the event of serious bad weather. The threat of bad weather is compounded by the fact that over 46 per cent of SMEs haven’t considered a business continuity plan to carry on trading or mitigate losses.

James Tugendhat of Towergate Direct said: “Small businesses are a vital part of the UK economy and can’t afford to lose money due to the unpredictable British weather.”