‘Firms affected by terror need more help’

Armed police holding an anti-terror training exercise.
Armed police holding an anti-terror training exercise.
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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against 21st century terrorism’, calls on the Government to release the UK terror cover safety net, Pool Re, from an “outdated law” which prevents businesses from insuring themselves against ‘non-damage business disruption’ in the wake of a terror attack.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 short-term 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.”