Severe weather to hit 84% of SMEs
Nearly two thirds (61 per cent) of businesses said that staff would be unable to attend work and nearly half (48 per cent) said they would experience reduced profits.
Frances Coulson, R3 President, comments:
“These are worrying findings. Last year the weather caught us all off guard and the detrimental economic impact was widely reported. It seems as though a few days of icy weather this year could easily snowball into a financial disaster, especially for struggling businesses. They should be planning for the worst to avoid taking a real hit if trading suffers.”
The survey found that six per cent of business thought that adverse weather conditions could tip them into insolvency. In the retail and distribution sector, the findings were considerably higher than the national average, with 11 per cent of businesses worrying that severe winter weather could tip them into insolvency.
Frances Coulson continued: “It comes as no surprise that the retail sector is most concerned. Earlier in the year, R3′s Business Distress Index showed that retail businesses are more likely than any other to be concerned about their debt levels (41 per cent). The research also found that 58 per cent of retailers were experiencing a decrease in profit which was 24 per cent higher than the cross sector average.
“Although the last retail figures showed sales were up, people are likely to curb their spending again after Christmas. Retailers also have quarter day to contend with at the end of December, which will mean many will be paying landlords a hefty lump sum. If a business is already struggling and does not think it will withstand the pressures of severe winter weather, it should seek the advice of a professional to ensure it has the best chance of survival.”
- More businesses believe banks to be unsupportive
- Profits down for British SMEs
- Retail sector ‘delicately balanced’ ahead of Christmas
- Property and construction hit hardest by recession
- Winter costs SMEs £7 billion
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