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Small businesses lost four million trading days to strikes in six months
23 March 2023

Small businesses have lost an estimated 680,000 days of trading every month because of the wave of strikes across the country since last year, new research suggests.

A study by small business lender Iwoca indicated that around four million days of trading were lost over the last six months.

A third of 500 small to medium sized companies (SMEs) surveyed said strikes were having a negative impact on their business. One in five respondents said they had to change their work plans due to industrial action.

One in three SME owners sided with striking workers, agreeing that employers should agree to the demands of workers who are involved in pay disputes.

Colin Goldstein, Commercial Director at Iwoca said: “While strikes have impacted industries across the board, we’re now starting to see the ripple effect of sustained industrial action on small businesses.

“If you’re one of the UK’s 5.5 million small businesses, you now have to contend with lost trading days due to strikes as well as rising cost of doing business, including spiralling energy costs and inflation – all resulting in an incredibly tough trading environment. At the same time, their support for strikes has remained relatively consistent, and naturally they would like to see all sides come to an agreement.”

Shopper footfall plunged on last Wednesday as retailers suffered the effects of widespread strike action. Hundreds of picket lines were mounted outside government offices, schools, hospitals, universities and Tube stations in the biggest walkout for years.

Last month, Amazon workers announced a series of strikes at one of the company’s warehouses in a dispute over pay. The union said its members also made history in January by becoming the first Amazon workers in the UK to strike in their campaign for a pay rate of £15 an hour.

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