South Yorkshire firms ‘left out’ of flooding scheme

Federation of Small Businesses Regional Chairman Gordon Millward
Federation of Small Businesses Regional Chairman Gordon Millward
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The Federation of Small Businesses has hit out at the Government for leaving small firms out of a new deal which aims to boost protection against flooding.

The Federation of Small Businesses has hit out at the Government for leaving small firms out of a new deal which aims to boost protection against flooding.

New draft regulations were laid before Parliament last week for the Flood RE initiative, which would see the formation of a not-for-profit company that is designed to enable high flood risk households to obtain affordable priced flood insurance.

But the FSB criticised ministers for excluding small businesses from the scheme.

Gordon Millward, regional chairman for the FSB, said: “The Flood RE draft regulations cause fresh uncertainty for the one in 10 small businesses at risk of flooding. Many small firms are already finding it difficult to find flooding insurance with as many as 50,000 businesses potentially affected.

“Three per cent of these small businesses currently say flood insurance is unaffordable. Without being included in Flood RE there is nothing in place to protect the smallest of businesses, which are the most vulnerable. “With potentially no provision through the open market, firms will now have nowhere to turn and so will be at risk. Ministers should look again at the availability of affordable and comprehensive flood insurance for small businesses, potentially through a dedicated Flood Re style agreement.

“The financial cost to small businesses following the 2012 flooding was £200 million. We cannot hope to create a buoyant economy if vulnerable small businesses are not sufficiently protected from unpredictable and severe weather that in the worst cases can close a business.”