The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has commended the efforts of many small businesses affected by 'Storm Desmond' that have gone above and beyond to ensure they stay open and support their local community where possible.

The north west of England, southern Scotland, Northern Ireland and north Wales were battered by the storm over the weekend, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses without power due to flooding. Cumbria, the worst affected area, saw a month's rain fall in just one day. The record rainfall resulted in the storm being declared a major incident.

“We know that despite the water, many small businesses do manage to stay open and continue to support their customers. When disasters hit they are often at the forefront of the recovery effort, and we encourage local people not to assume everything is closed but continue to stand by their local small firms," said John Allan, national chair of the FSB.

A recent FSB survey found that two thirds of small businesses have been negatively affected by severe weather in the last three years. The financial cost of these severe weather events over this period was, on average, just under £7,000 for each affected business.

Mr Allan said: "If your small business has been affected by the flooding, the Environment Agency in England, SEPA in Scotland, Natural Resources Wales and Northern Ireland Environment Agency all have advice and information to help you deal with the effects of extreme weather.

"We encourage insurance companies to react quickly to help small businesses with flooding insurance to get back on their feet and we will be monitoring the situation closely.

"We would urge all small businesses to make time to clarify their risk of flooding, design a resilience plan and where available, sign up to the Flood Warnings Direct service."