Essex FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) has warned that the heavy snowfall due to hit Essex this week will cause problems for many of the 60,000 small businesses in the county.
Chairman of Essex FSB, Iain Wicks, said: “Serious snowfall is a challenge to businesses as transport problems mean fewer people make it into work, meaning fewer sales on the high street, and parents staying at home to look after children because schools are shut.
“Small businesses in particular are at risk as they see sales take a hit because of the bad weather, as they don’t have the financial support of national chains behind them but they are resourceful and will do their best to stay open and keep delivering services to their customers.
“We would encourage as many small businesses as possible that can operate from home to do so, perhaps getting telephones diverted and using the internet to run their business, to ease traffic problems and demands on the emergency services.
“We would praise the gritting teams in Essex which have done a very good job keeping the major routes open which clearly must be the priority although we have asked for some town centres – such as Brentwood, Ongar, Rayleigh and Rochford – to be given higher priority to help combat the ice that has been building up over recent weeks.
“Having faced a difficult year, with heavy snowfall a year ago and the threat of swine flu through the year, we know that many small firms will have put continuity plans in place where possible and are prepared to cope with challenges such as these.
“Essex FSB expects that as the bad weather continues, small businesses will really start to be inventive and come up with practical ways of providing services to customers.”