Rail strikes negatively affecting small businesses

Rail strikes negatively affecting small businesses

Research from Simply Business, a provider of small business insurance, has revealed the damaging effect that train strikes are having on small businesses across the UK. A survey of over 600 small businesses found that more than one in 10 lost money as a result of transport strikes. Almost 40 per cent said strikes made it harder to plan in advance, while over a fifth said they had significantly fewer customers on days when strikes took place.

Of those surveyed, Four in ten (38 per cent) small businesses say that strikes make it hard to plan in advance, whilst one tenth (11 per cent) have been unable to take meetings with clients. Businesses in the hospitality sector will be particularly hard hit as the 44 per cent of people using rail for shopping and leisure will be significantly reduced on strike days.

Members of the RMT Union will strike on Saturday 13 May, affecting 14 train operators. ASLEF members of staff who work for 16 train companies will walk out on Friday 12 May, Wednesday 31 May, and Saturday 3 June.

Alan Thomas, UK CEO at Simply Business, commented: “This weekend, the final of this year’s Eurovision is taking place in Liverpool, and many will be delighted at the prospect of fans flocking to the city and spending time and money with local businesses. Planned industrial action has almost certainly dampened that excitement. Giving people the means to make journeys which allow them to enjoy the unique offering of small businesses up and down the country is essential to the survival of our SMEs.

“Ongoing disruption to the rail network is now affecting small businesses’ supply chains, the ability for their employees to get to work, and, most essentially, causing a lull in customers as footfall decreases. The UK’s self-employed are feeling the pressure more than ever, and the upcoming strikes will no doubt add to their concerns.”


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