Rail strikes negatively impacting small businesses, reveals new research

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Research commissioned by small business insurance provider Simply Business has revealed the damaging effect train strikes are having on UK SMEs.

In its survey of over 600 small business owners, more than one in 10 said they have lost money as a direct result of transport strikes. Almost 40 per cent said the strikes are making it harder to plan in advance, while over a fifth said they had significantly fewer customers on days when strikes took place.

Of those small business owners surveyed, four in ten (38 per cent) say that strikes make it hard to plan in advance, while one tenth (11 per cent) have been unable to attend meetings with clients. Businesses in the hospitality sector are being particularly hard hit as 16 per cent of those using trains do so for shopping and 28 per cent travel by rail for leisure.

Upcoming train strike days include Wednesday 31 May (ASLEF union), Friday 2 June (RMT Union) and Saturday 3 June (ASLEF union).

Simply Business CEO Alan Thomas comments: “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.”

Read more about what the network rail strikes means for small businesses here.