Within two days of the floods which hit the Upper Calder Valley we asked businesses to respond to a flood impact survey. Despite their difficult circumstances business responded amazingly and we were able to provide almost instant data to Calderdale Council to support their bid for funds to National Government. Of the 337 businesses officially damaged by flooding in the Upper Calder Valley we had return of 43%. In Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd we had a return of around 60%.
31% said they would be open within weeks, 25% 1-2 months, 23% 2-6 months 6% said 6 months +, and 15% “not sure”. We believe that these figures will slide as we are hearing anecdotal evidence from more and more business that they are now expecting to have to take longer to get back into their property. We aim to repeat the survey after a month to review the figures.
The survey results can be downloaded.
Below are the main concerns and requirements highlighted in the survey:
- Significant business losses, many business uninsured may not be able to return.
- Concerns for businesses that do manage to establish themselves longer term viability and sustainability
- All business would have suffered significant loss of income
- Capital injection for each business
- Insurance assistance for future
- Flood defence input for each business for future
- Clean up and dry up assistance, in particular electrical input
- PR to aid regeneration in area and boost trade as businesses evolve
The first thing we are doing with our partners in the Mytholmroyd Business Network Group is, holding a business breakfast on 19th January to bring together expertise in some of the areas mentioned in the “Main Requirements” such as insurance.
The UCVR are already looking at these survey result with a view to supporting businesses who have to take longer to get back into business by introducing them to expertise in flood resilience and assisting them with applications for grant funding in this area. This will hopefully offer some future security of income if another flood were to occur. They would be able to recover more swiftly from the actual water damage.
In the medium to long-term there is a need for both visitor economy promotions and general business development initiatives. The UCVR will fully engage with local, region and national authorities seek funding to undertake such promotions.
We will engage with the serious debate about flood defence and water table management which will undoubtedly be the next phase the general community will want to discuss.