18 January 2010 | Steve Bagshaw
Fifty-eight per cent of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK suffered as a result of the winter weather, according to research by YouGov.
The snowy conditions in the week beginning 4 January meant 21 per cent found key suppliers and contacts were not available. The findings showed that a total of 124 million working hours were lost – a figure the researchers estimate equals £1.35 billion in lost productivity.
The research, carried out on behalf of Citrix GoToMyPC, also found that some staff were late into work in a quarter of small businesses, while 26 per cent reported that some staff couldn’t make it into the workplace at all. In addition, 26 per cent had to cancel or postpone business meetings.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) found 74 per cent of British workers were affected by last week’s winter conditions, with 8 per cent forced to stay home due to school closures and 12 per cent not able to work at all.
The FSB estimated the UK economy lost around £600 million a day during the bad weather. It has called on the government to hold a national conference to review its contingency planning after “snow and icy weather brought the UK to a standstill”.