By Marcus Leach

With an extra day off for the Royal Wedding, this year’s bank holidays have been causing an unusual amount of disruption to local businesses - especially smaller enterprises.

Current Government figures show that this year’s bank holidays are set to cost the UK economy an incredible extra £2.9 billion — a worrying figure for businesses, and one which is to be repeated with an extra bank holiday also proposed for next year for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“Although the UK has slightly fewer bank holidays than other parts of Europe, they do hit British businesses particularly hard. A massive 99.3% of all businesses in the UK are small businesses which employ less than 50 people - and there’s no two ways about it, extra bank holidays do put these smaller businesses under a significant amount of pressure," Terry Hamill, Executive Director for BNI Merseyside and spokesman for many local businesses explained.

John Haynes, Area Director for BNI Merseyside and MD of a successful business coaching academy adds:

“This has proved concerning for many employers, and in recent weeks at BNI Merseyside we’ve been offering advice to many local businesses, helping them to overcome these disruptions through careful planning and prioritisation.

“As businesses now face yet another short bank holiday week at the end of the month, our advice is that they should simply start planning ahead now, to focus on the elements of their business which create the most profit and make them the biggest priority.”

The comments follows a recent Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) policy paper which includes a proposal for moving the traditional May Day bank holiday to St George's Day on 23 April or later in the year to reduce the close clustering of bank holidays and extend the summer tourist.

“After seeing the impact of these bank holidays for many of our members who are smaller businesses in Merseyside firsthand over recent weeks, I certainly believe this move would ease the burden for many small businesses,” Terry Hamill adds.