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Farron Calls For Flood Protection For Small Businesses

December 15, 2015 5:10 PM

GrasmereTim Farron MP has called on the government to extend its flood risk insurance scheme to include small businesses.

Since the floods first hit, Tim has visited many local businesses across South Lakeland, to see the damage caused and hear the concerns of business owners. Yesterday Tim spoke to small business owners in the Lyth Valley, as well as in Grasmere, Staveley and Burneside, before visiting businesses on the Mintsfeet Industrial Estate in Kendal.

Having spoken with many local entrepreneurs who have struggled to get insurance, Tim has called for the government's 'Flood Re' scheme to be expanded to include small businesses. The scheme, which will take effect from April 2016, is designed to make flood insurance available and affordable to those in high risk areas. However, the scheme will only apply to home owners and excludes small businesses.

Despite claims that small businesses do not struggle to get insurance, research by the Federation of Small Businesses found that nationally 50,000 small businesses at risk of flooding had been refused cover, with 75,000 finding it difficult to get insurance at an affordable price.

Calling for an extension of the Flood Re scheme Tim said: "As devastating as the floods have been for home owners here in Cumbria, it has been equally catastrophic for the small businesses which are the backbone of our local economy.

"With the impact of climate change this isn't going to be the last time communities are hit by flooding and it will become more and more difficult for small businesses to get affordable insurance.

"The Government needs to get serious about the situation we are in and extend the Flood Re scheme to small businesses, before even more see their businesses devastated by the financial cost of flooding."