SMALL business owners should be aware of the importance of crisis planning in the wake of flooding in the South West, a national business organisation said.

The recent floods impacted on businesses across the country, resulting in major disruption to operations and leaving a significant number of small businesses counting the cost of the damage and facing hefty recovery costs.

Jo Eccles, business adviser at The Forum of Private Business, said: “Many small business owners don’t like to think that that the worst might happen to their business. But when it does it can have devastating consequences.”

Businesses are advised to be prepared for flooding and to have a crisis plan in place, along with a contingency plan, to keep their small business going.

Key elements of a plan should include:

- The key business functions you need to get operating as quickly as possible and the resources you’ll need.

- The roles of individuals – ensure all employees are aware of what they have to do and provide training.

- Details of those you’ll need to notify in an emergency such as the emergency services, insurers, customers, suppliers, utility companies, etc.

- Details of companies you may require such as glaziers, locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, and IT specialists.

- Maps of your premises’ layout to help emergency services, showing fire escapes and safety equipment.

- An appointed spokesperson to handle questions from customers, suppliers and the media.

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