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Business

Published on March 6th, 2014 | by The GC Team

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FSB counts cost of floods and spreads news on Business Rates

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has given notice to its members of some “important information” on business rates: the Department for Communities and Local Government has published a Business Rates Information Letter (No. 5/2014), viewable now on the GOV.UK website, which details a facility to spread business rates payments over twelve instalments instead of the present ten. The facility takes effect immediately, and the FSB advises “if you wish to apply for extended time please make your application quickly.”

In other FSB news, the Federation has published data revealing that the recent floods in the UK have cost small businesses £831 billion, an average of £1,531 per business in flood-hit areas.

Many areas in the South West are still suffering from severe flooding three months after the first flood warnings were issued. The FSB’s flood research shows 32% of small firms in flood-hit areas suffered from reduced demand for goods and services; 29% were affected by transport disruption hindering the movement of goods and supplies; and 16% suffered staff absences.

The FSB remains concerned that as a result of the floods, small businesses will find it more difficult to obtain insurance. More than a third (37%) of FSB members in flood-hit zones expect it to be more difficult to renew their insurance and more than half (59%) expect their insurance to become more expensive as a result of being left out of the Flood Re support scheme.

John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “In the past few weeks we have heard countless stories from our members who were left devastated by some of the worst flooding on record. Not only have they had to cope with a lack of demand for their services, many have had to close. That is why Government support has been welcome, and with many still affected, why that support needs to be kept under review.

“We also know small businesses are worried they will find it increasingly difficult and considerably more expensive to insure their businesses. Certainly the evidence we have from our members points to small businesses’ exclusion from the Flood Re scheme being unhelpful. We want the Government and the insurance industry to look again at the support they have in place for small businesses in flood-hit areas and see whether there is more help they can provide to ensure they have access to adequate and affordable insurance.”

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