Government support for flood-hit businesses

Businesses affected by recent flooding can get Government support to help them recover. Announcing the package of measures David Cameron said that "money is no object to help this flood relief effort".

Eligible flood-hit businesses can receive:

  • A £5,000 ‘repair and renew' grant to build flood protection into businesses as they are repaired
  • A 100 per cent business rate relief for three months and an extra three months to pay business taxes
  • Access to a £10 million fund for farmers with water-logged land.

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said:

"The help will be good news to many businesses which may not be able to trade and will be under financial pressure. The Government now needs to look at how to make flood defences more robust to protect against these incidents."

In a separate initiative, the Government and the insurance industry have been working together on Flood Re, a scheme which will provide affordable buildings insurance for flood-prone areas.

However, under present plans, small and medium-sized businesses, leaseholds and rented property will be excluded from Flood Re.

The small business community has called for the Government and insurance industry to reassess the plans. Allan said:

"FSB research shows one in five small firms were affected by floods in 2012-13 and we know many struggle to get adequate insurance cover. If they can't use this scheme, small businesses will be forced to pay exorbitantly high costs to be insured against this threat."

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said:

"We would urge Government and the insurance industry to reconsider these unnecessary exclusions, which will hit the smallest hardest. The huge costs of repairing a property after a flood is easily enough to bring a small business to its knees."

"Flood insurance is not a luxury for some to afford - it is a necessity."