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Small businesses lack contingency plans: Study


LONDON, Millions of small and medium-sized enterprises are failing to protect themselves and their employees from the event of an emergency, according to research conducted by the British Insurance Brokers' Assn.

BIBA commissioned research firm Populus to survey the opinions of 250 directors of SMEs last fall.

The study found that nearly three-quarters had no plans for dealing with the impact of terrorism, half had no plans to deal with the impact of flooding, and only just over half had plans to deal with the effects of a fire. Less than half had a formal written business continuity plan, according to the research.

In a statement BIBA pointed out that the 4.3 million SMEs in the United Kingdom employ 12 million people, and are therefore "vital" to the country's economy.

Government figures suggest nearly one in five businesses suffers a major disruption every year, according to BIBA, and about 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close down within 18 months, and 90% of those who lose their data are forced to close down within two years.<.p>

BIBA has pointed out that small enterprises in particular suffer severe financial loss if closures prevent or restrict trading over a period of weeks or even months.

BIBA has launched a campaign to encourage SMEs to ensure that their companies are protected in the event of an emergency.