After experiencing a disappointing Christmas, many small businesses and recent company formation owners, expected profits to rise as consumers hit the high street, in the hope of grabbing a bargain. However, as a consequence of the freezing weather conditions of the last few months, many retailers were bitterly disappointed and the high street suffered another devastating blow.
Now, as the weather improves and it looks that summer is finally on its way, the Forum of Small Business have commissioned a survey to establish exactly what the ‘Big Freeze’ cost the UK’s SME sector.
The report estimated that the adverse weather cost the high street just over six and a half billion pounds. Over fifty per cent of all small business owners asked, said that the ‘big freeze’ damaged their business, while over forty five per cent claimed that they had to suspend any plans they had to grow their company until profits increased.
Economist Andrew Shepherd comments; “The high street and SME sector has been fighting a war on all fronts during the last few months. Not only did they have to compete with the growing dominance of online shopping, they also had to contend with freezing weather and a hostile market. It was not what you would call a good start to the New Year and yet despite these challenges, the majority of small business owners still feel optimistic about 2010.”