Business warned ‘brace yourself for winter’

BUSINESSES were today urged to prepare properly for a potentially harsh winter.

Paul Harrison, a partner at Hartlepool chartered accountants Waltons Clark Whitehill, spoke out after warnings that a third consecutive winter of heavy snow and ice could be on the way.

He said it should act as a trigger for business owners to prepare to face further disruption, if they have not done so already.

“During the last two years, businesses have seen major disruption caused by the long, harsh winters,” he said.

“It hasn’t only been transport companies which have been affected by the conditions on the roads, but all types of businesses suffered. Those which relied on hauliers and other delivery services were hit and businesses found that members of staff were unable to get into their place of work.

“Overall, productivity was massively affected and the UK’s economic problems were exacerbated.

“Having felt the effect of two such winters, now is the time for businesses to use the experience to help them plan for another similar winter, if they have not already done so.”

Recent reports have suggested that La Nina, the climate phenomenon thought by some to have been linked with Britain’s last icy winter, is due to return.

Mr Harrison added: “In the modern world, many businesses are able to use advances in technology to make working from home as efficient as being in the office, while others may benefit from having reserve stocks of essential goods and materials in place before the weather turns.

“Each business must look at its own needs and put systems in place.

“Even if the reports of La Nina do not translate into real difficulties, it is only good business sense to learn from the past and be ready for a repeat of the problems.”