Federation of Small Business throws lifeline to flood-hit companies

The FSB has opened its Disaster Recovery Fund with a total of £500,000 to be
made available to eligible members.

The loans will be available to those
members affected by the heavy rain and flooding in Cumbria, Lancashire, the
North-East and Scotland.

“The past 18 months have been difficult for FSB members up and down the
country, so the last thing otherwise successful members need is
unpredictable weather and flooding to damage their prospects,” said
John Wright, national chairman of the FSB.

He called on banks, local authorities and other institutions which have a
bearing on the cash flow of small businesses to be “understanding and
flexible.”

The FSB offered the same funding during the 2007 floods and crisis caused by
the foot and mouth epidemic. It said about 94pc of loans were repaid, while
the remainder were written off.

The loans will not be made available to businesses that were not insured, and
companies will have to demonstrate their solvency prior to the floods.

Although it is too early for the Association of British Insurers to calculate
the total cost of the floods to the insurance industry, it said the average
cost of damage to domestic properties was currently between £20,000 and
£40,000.

Elizabeth Couchman, senior product manager at Risk Management Solutions, added
that the total damage is likely to be much smaller than the £3bn incurred
during the 2007 floods.

“While the rainfall is creating devastation in the North-West and
Scotland, the damage is likely to be far lower than in 2007 when 55,000
properties were damaged, causing £3bn of damage, compared to up to 1,000
homes impacted so far,” she said.

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