It was around this time last year that floods hit various parts of the country, with worse to come as January progressed. It wasn’t just homes which were affected: businesses also suffered significantly, with over 3000 commercial properties flooded. So this makes some recent research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) very worrying.
According to the FSB, three out of five small businesses don’t have a plan in place to deal with extreme weather conditions. This is despite two thirds of those surveyed being affected by flooding, drought or snow in the past three years. Even more extraordinary is that 29 per cent of businesses don’t have insurance for business interruption or damage caused to property by flooding.
The FSB explains that, by protecting against disruption, small firms can continue operating and thus avoid financial difficulties. And it’s the knock-on effects which can have greatest impact: problems for staff getting in to work, or for customers getting access, as well as issues for suppliers, utilities and transport.
We heartily endorse the FSB’s advice for businesses to put an extreme weather plan in place, and they suggest using the comprehensive guide provided by the Environmental Agency on their website as a starting point.
The FSB also raises the thorny issue of Flood Re and the fact that small businesses won’t be included in this new agreement on affordable flood insurance. Flood Re is meant to ‘go live’ this year…but I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more delays.