Retailers are being urged to protect their businesses and devise action plans in the event of prolonged rain and floods.
A number of flood warnings are already in place across the UK, with more wet weather on the way, according to the Met Office.
New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that three in five small businesses do not have a plan to deal with extreme weather conditions.
Over the past three years, two-thirds (66%) of small businesses have been negatively impacted by flooding, drought or snow, the FSB said.
“Of those businesses affected by extreme weather, the biggest problems reported were disruption to staff and customers (46%) and disruption to suppliers, utilities and transport arrangements (32%),” FSB national policy chairman Mike Cherry said.
Retailers Pippa and David Heritage saw their store in Barns Green, West Sussex, flooded twice last year. The pair have since used money from a government grant to order special flood defence barriers which clip onto the door frames should floods threaten again. “The council have also fixed the drainage system, so hopefully we won’t face the same problems again,” David said.
Earlier this month the government committed to spend £15.5m on flood defences in the South West over the next six years, including £4.2m on the Somerset Levels and Moors.
For advice on how to make a flood plan click here