Many shop owners in South Yorkshire have been left
devastated by flood waters, which in some areas rose up to 18ft, causing huge amounts of damage to stores and destroying their stock.
Jenny Jackson, who owns a Post Office and store in Toll Bar, one of the worst affected areas, described the damage to her business as "absolutely horrifying".
Contaminated waters rose up to three feet deep, devastating the store's interior and fixtures and fittings.
"Everything has been destroyed - the flooring, walls, chillers, and huge amounts of stock. We still don't have any power. Morale in the village is very low indeed, and we have no idea how long it will be before we will be able to get back on our feet," she said.
Even those some distance away from the worst affected areas have suffered from serious availability shortfalls, where road closures have forced many deliveries to be cancelled.
Meanwhile, other retailers across the country have been left reeling from a significant slump in sales caused by the cold, damp weather.
Robert Byford, who owns Byfords food hall in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex is one retailer feeling the pinch: "We sell a large range of home-made barbecue products. Sales have been absolutely dire since April. It's frustrating, especially when I think back to how well we did last summer," he said.
"It's a very worrying situation" added Carey Lake, who runs Redlands Stores in Fareham. "Sales of soft drinks and ice cream are significantly down, as are sales generally. Shoppers' feel good factor has been dented by the wind and the rain, and they simply don't want to spend money."
However, the floods and unseasonal weather have not been bad news for every
Richard Harding, manager of the Co-operative food store in Maltby, Rotherham, said that his store has in fact profited from the rising waters as concerned shoppers began panic buying. "The difficulty of getting into the town centre has also meant that hoards of people have been travelling to our store to do their shopping instead," he added. "We also get all of our deliveries from the south, so have not suffered supply problems like others have."
Meanwhile, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has announced the establishment of a £500,000 fund to assist businesses affected by the floods across the country.
FSB national chairman John Wright criticised the government and its agencies for not doing enough to assist small businesses.
"It will be little comfort to someone to arrive back in their house only to find out that their employer has gone bust," he said.