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Small businesses encouraged to make winter plans

By: Elizabeth Smythe
07 November 2011

Britain's small businesses - including those that are part of the wider UK franchising community - have been urged to prepare now in order to minimise the impact of winter, HR Magazine reports.

The Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) said that measures ought to be taken now in advance of a possibly harsh winter. This could help avoid a repeat of the last two years' "sudden cold snaps".

This is particularly pertinent following a YouGov Omnibus SME survey, which found that 37 per cent of small businesses said they had experienced "weather-related problems of some sort" and that 34 per cent of staff had difficulties getting to work.

Among the recommendations were ensuring that adequate insurance is up-to-date, winter-proofing the premises and devising a contingency plan - in case staff are unable to reach the workplace.

Commenting on the news, Jane Bennett - FPB's head of campaigns - told smallbusiness.co.uk: "Disruptive snowfall hampers deliveries, triggers heating and power failures and can sometimes mean employees can't get to work.

"The past few winters have demonstrated just how susceptible the UK is to extreme weather, and the cost to business quickly runs into millions. When infrastructure grounds to a halt staff can't get in to work, and that's a body blow which hits small firms with fewer staff the hardest."

The FPB pointed out that winter is not the only time businesses should review their contingency plans; citing August's riots in London and flash flooding as examples of unforeseen events.

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