‘Firms af­fected by ter­ror need more help’

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FOCUS ON SMES -

THE GOVERN­MENT must change the law to pro­vide ex­tra pro­tec­tion for small busi­ness own­ers who are af­fected by ter­ror­ism, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses (FSB).

The re­port ‘Small busi­ness as usual – strength­en­ing re­silience against 21st cen­tury ter­ror­ism’, calls on the Govern­ment to re­lease the UK ter­ror cover safety net, Pool Re, from an “out­dated law” which pre­vents busi­nesses from in­sur­ing them­selves against ‘non-dam­age busi­ness dis­rup­tion’ in the wake of a ter­ror at­tack. Cur­rent rules do not cover loss of trade, or other im­pacts of mod­ern ter­ror­ism, ac­cord­ing to the FSB study.

Along­side this, the FSB be­lieves the Govern­ment should in­tro­duce emer­gency re­silience mea­sures for busi­nesses af­fected by ter­ror­ism. It is urg­ing the Govern­ment to pro­vide ex­tra fi­nan­cial relief and al­low busi­nesses to de­lay bill pay­ments to ease the pres­sure on short­term cash flow.

The re­port draws on ex­am­ples from re­cent ter­ror­ism in­ci­dents in­clud­ing the at­tack at Manch­ester Arena and on Lon­don Bridge, where busi­nesses in Bor­ough Mar­ket were forced to close for 11 days cost­ing them an es­ti­mated £1.4m.

The re­port also sets out how the Govern­ment could re­quire reg­u­lated util­i­ties, such as banks and en­ergy com­pa­nies, to in­tro­duce a flex­i­bil­ity clause in sup­ply con­tracts to al­low small firms to de­lay pay­ment in the event of a ter­ror at­tack. Mike Cherry, FSB na­tional chair­man, said: “Sadly, ter­ror­ism con­tin­ues to be a reg­u­lar fea­ture of life in the UK and our thoughts are with all those who have suf­fered heart-break­ing hu­man tragedies fol­low­ing ter­ror­ist at­tacks.

“Ter­ror­ists aim to cre­ate loss and dis­rup­tion to or­di­nary life, and that means we also need to be as pre­pared as pos­si­ble to limit the po­ten­tial dam­age on lo­cal economies if the worst hap­pens.”

ANTI-TER­ROR TAC­TICS: The Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses has called on the Govern­ment to re­lease the UK ter­ror cover safety net, Pool Re, from an ‘out­dated law’.

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