Fighting back after floods

IT could take up to two years for the full impact of June's floods on business to filter through, according to Business Link South Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 9th October 2007, 5:39 pm
Updated Monday, 15th October 2007, 11:11 am

The business support agency says a thousand businesses had their premises flooded and around 10,000 were indirectly affected - by power cuts, inaccessible roads and supply chain problems.

Few flood hit firms have been forced to close and the majority are now back in production to some extent, but the real picture may not emerge for six months to two years.

Business Link’s Richard Lukey, who has been keeping a close eye on the progress made by flood affected businesses since June said: “Although each business is at a different stage, most are now back in production - but certainly not back to pre-flood levels.

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“Managers have realised that the priority is to get themselves up and running, then building repairs can be done at a later stage.”

Business Link head of operations, Colin Beresford, added: “Looking at the bigger picture, very few companies appear to have gone out of business at this stage, but we need to continue to monitor the situation over the medium and long term. We will have a more realistic idea of the affects of the flood in six months to two years.

“What can happen is that businesses manage to get back to production, but the impact is felt further down the line, perhaps once they have cleared their backlog and they find they are struggling for new orders.

“But, having said that, the signs are positive at this stage. In the last two weeks, we have contacted the affected companies to see how they are doing, and there are only four businesses that have closed that we are aware of. The vast majority are back trading to some extent.”

Among firms that have been helped by Business Link are Tempered Spring, whose works backs on to the River Don, and PJ Sisman Electrical on the Wicker.

With the help of Business Link adviser John Loots, Tempered secured a 20,000 grant to help it’s recovery.

“We cannot praise John highly enough,” said Tempered’s finance director, John Barker. “He got in touch with us the week after the floods and kept us up to date with all the various grants that were available. He helped us fill out the form for the Yorkshire Forward recovery fund and checked it before we sent it off, to make sure there was no delay. Within two weeks, we had the cheque in our hands.”