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  • Economic impact assessment of the Boxing Day floods (2015) on SMEs in the Borough of Calderdale
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Economic impact assessment of the Boxing Day floods (2015) on SMEs in the Borough of Calderdale

Source(s):  University of Leeds

This report presents an economic impact assessment of the Boxing Day 2015 flooding on small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). It is aimed to support the evidence that the Calderdale Flood Commission collates to make recommendations to Government, the Council, the Environment Agency, the community and businesses, about the effects of recent flooding and lessons for possible future flooding. This report will assist policy makers and local stakeholders to take effective action based on what the community of SMEs needs to recover and continue to provide jobs, products and service for local communities.

The unprecedented floods of Boxing Day 2015 had a serious impact on the borough of Calderdale, and the Upper Calder Valley was particularly badly hit. SMEs, which make up the majority of the local businesses in the economy, were worst affected. Understanding the situation of SMEs is important, as they represent key drivers in achieving the growth and development needed for economic recovery.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Over 1600 businesses were affected by flooding and nearly £47 million losses to the local economy have been reported so far.
  • For every £1 reported in direct losses, another £0.6 on average was lost indirectly throughout the regional economy.
  • The total economic impact to the Calderdale and Kirklees regional economy amounted to a total of approximately £170 million.
  • 45% of flooded premises suffered structural damage, 75% of flooded businesses lost stock, 46% of flooded businesses lost office equipment.
  • Businesses with more than 20 employees experienced higher losses but for businesses with less than 4 employees the losses were twice as costly relative to their income.
  • Employees have been laid off and more than a hundred of jobs are at risk in the next 3 months.
  • It is taking double the amount of time to recover compared with the 2012 floods, and businesses experienced 1.35 times more damage to their businesses and the losses almost doubled.
  • Hundreds of businesses will become uninsurable.



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  • Economic impact assessment of the Boxing Day floods (2015) on SMEs in the Borough of Calderdale
  • Publication date 2016
  • Author(s) Sakai, Paola; Holdsworth, Anne; Curry, Stephen
  • Number of pages 44 p.

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