Shop local to keep chill at bay

Steve Pye, chairman of the Blackpool branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.
Steve Pye, chairman of the Blackpool branch of the Federation of Small Businesses.
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It is amazing how poor weather can affect trading and profits of small businesses.

We have seen farming decimated by the floods, then hit by unseasonal heavy snowfalls, causing the cost of food to rise.

The March freeze cost UK small businesses approximately £174m according to the Blackpool-based Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

More than half (55 per cent) of UK small firms have been impacted financially by the recent prolonged cold weather, costing them £174m.

The Federation of Small Businesses says that on average each business lost £1,580, according to the findings of a new survey.

The research showed that around six in 10 small businesses were impacted by the cold snap and that loss of demand (30 per cent) and closures (26 per cent) were the common impacts.

Of those who closed or temporarily stopped trading, an average of 2.2 days was lost.

Furthermore, around 27 per cent of firms had staff absent for at least one day.

Small businesses may finally turn a corner moving 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 also many have had to close.

The biggest threat to small retail businesses is that this prolonged cold spell would result in people 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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