Stephen Alambritis from the FSB said its estimate was a cautious one and the actual cost was likely to be higher. “There is also the knock-on effect of passing trade going down as people won’t be buying their sandwiches for lunch or picking up a coffee or newspaper,” he said.
Shares in transport companies fell on the stock exchange, with trading volumes slightly lighter than normal as dealers struggled to their offices.
British Airways was down 4.25% at 115 pence, while Go-Ahead, which runs Southeastern rail services, was down 2% at 963.5p.
Dr Helen Hill, director of policy and public affairs at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that a one-day closure of the Tube can cost the capital £48m in lost productivity.
“Hopefully things will not grind to a halt completely however, as local staff may be able to get into the office and many others can now work remotely and conduct business online,” she said.
Howard Archer, an economist at research firm Global Insight, said that small businesses could be particularly vulnerable if core staff cannot make it to work.
However, he said that any hit to the economy would likely be short-lived.
“Some of the loss of business/trading may be quickly made up once the bad weather eases. Very cold weather will boost utilities output,” Mr Archer said.
“But any disruption to business is the very last thing that the UK economy needs in its current extremely weak state,” he added.