August 9, 2011

Riots prompt FSB to demand increased protection for SMEs

by Jan Harris

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) issued a statement following last night’s riots caused chaos in cities across the UK.

Violence flared in several parts of the capital, as well as in Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol and Nottingham.

Chairman of the FSB, John Walker, said: “The violence and looting that spread across London, and other cities, is completely unacceptable and very concerning.

“With people having lost their homes and livelihoods, the police and emergency services need to protect citizens and business owners from criminals who are out to steal and cause mindless destruction.

“As shops have appeared to be the main target of out of control criminal gangs, there needs to be increased protection for small firms.”

The FSB is advising businesses to follow police guidelines in order to protect themselves and is calling on the government to make sure that adequate resources are deployed to give businesses the protection they need.

The organisation also wants HMRC to be lenient with businesses affected by the riots, as they may have to wait some time for insurance claims to be processed.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) also warned that businesses are facing huge costs as a result of the riots, both from criminal damage and from lost trade.

Speaking to the BBC, Liz Pilgrim, a small business owner from Ealing, said ‘Feral rats looted my business’.

“We need to engage with these disillusioned youths who aren’t forming any part of society at the moment,” she said.

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