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Six out of ten SMEs impacted by bitter spring

Published: 23 April 2013
The unexpectedly prolonged cold weather cost small businesses £174million this March according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The group reported that more than half of all SMEs operating in the UK had been impacted financially by the long cold snap, with each business on average losing £1,580.

A survey put out by the FSB showed that loss of demand (affecting 30% of respondents) and closures (20%) were the most common impacts of the recent bad weather. Of those who closed or temporarily stopped trading, an average of 2.2 days was lost.

Around 27% of businesses reported absent staff for at least one day. One in five businesses also said they had been negatively impacted by the flooding last year.

FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry said: "We may finally have turned a corner into spring, but it's been a long haul, following the coldest March in 100 years. While a few businesses have managed to take advantage of the weather many have found it difficult to manage. Not only have they had to cope with a lack of demand for products, but many have had to close.

"Our fear is that this prolonged cold spell will mean people are travelling by car to supermarkets or out of town shopping centres rather than utilising local shops. We need people to keep trade local and support local businesses that may be struggling as a result of the weather."

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