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New research by the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has found that many firms are generally unprepared for the disruption risks that they face from internal and external threats. The data, part of wider forthcoming research into how the UK can better use supply chains, shows that 65 percent of small businesses do not have a business continuity plan to cope with potential disruption to their business operations or their supply chains.

The most prevalent risks to small firms were customers who failed to pay for services or goods (51 percent) as well as the loss of key members of staff (37 percent).  The high risks identified, not only included loss of staff, but also the impact of cybercrime (17 percent), transport problems (15 percent) as well as severe weather (13 percent). Smaller businesses are the most vulnerable to such risks due to their size and lack of resources.

FSB wants more to be done by larger companies in supply chains to help smaller businesses with fewer resources to provide assistance with forward planning. Also, support channels backed by central Government and local authorities should emphasise the need for smaller firms to have continuity plans in place as a routine measure, says FSB.

FSB National Chairman, Mike Cherry, said: “Small businesses face a number of threats on a regular basis and it is vital they are prepared to deal with them. By implementing continuity plans, small firms can prepare for many of the sudden changes that can impact on them directly and their supply chains.”

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