The unseasonably cold weather in March cost small businesses in the UK £174 million, according to research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
The FSB found that more than half (55%) of small businesses were impacted financially by the prolonged cold weather. Each business lost £1,580 on average.
Loss of demand impacted 30% of respondents, while closures affected 26%. Those who stopped trading due to the cold weather lost 2.2 days of business on average. Over a quarter (27%) had staff absent for at least one day due to the cold weather.
This latest setback comes in the wake of the 2012 floods, which negatively impacted one in five small businesses.
Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We may finally have turned a corner into spring, but it’s been a long haul. following the coldest March in 100 years.”
“Our fear is that this prolonged cold spell will mean people are travelling by car to supermarkets or out of town shopping centres rather than utilising local shops. We need to Keep Trade Local and support local businesses that may be struggling as a result of the weather.”