BCC: SMEs ’vulnerable’ to swine flu

| July 19, 2009 | 0 Comments

The director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, David Frost, has warned that small and medium size businesses (SMEs) are particularly vulnerable to the swine flu.

Mr Frost told Sky News: “After a dramatic decline in the economy there is a touch more confidence coming back. But if swine flu does really take off then it will act as a major dampener on any upturn as we pull out of this recession. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable.”

He also warned that businesses need to be prepared since the flu will see “intense short-term periods of staff absence through illness”.

Mr Frost is urging small businesses to read all the advice and help which is available on Government and business websites.

One company in Coventry has put plans into place to help it stay afloat and has provided its five staff with mobile phones and laptops, so that if they think they have the symptoms, they can stay at home and work, rather than go to work and risk affecting others.

In related news, the Ernst & Young Item Club, the influential think tank, has warned of the threat posed to the economy from the flu. The flu could wipe out any economic growth next year warned the organisation.

According to NHS figures, there were an estimated 55,000 new cases of swine flu in the UK last week with total deaths currently at 29 (26 in England and 3 in Scotland).

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