As my colleague, Peter Cooke, wrote a couple of weeks ago, few businesses in the UK were prepared for the recent wintry conditions and snow, and small businesses in particular found themselves out in the cold. For those of us living on the continent, which was once again bathed in fresh snow over the weekend, the inability of the UK to cope with inclement weather has been gleefully reported on the news channels. With only minor, localised inconvenience seen on the continent, most workers found themselves little disadvantaged.
In the UK, it has been a different matter. In trying to put a figure on what the recent cold spell has cost the UK—and it may not be the last—the Federation of Small Businesses estimates that three million people in the UK missed work on the first working day of 2010 owing to severe weather conditions, costing businesses some