Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Businesses need lasting support too, says new foot and mouth report


A new report urges politicians not to forget rural businesses as they consider the lessons learnt from the devastating foot and mouth crisis. The study (1), by Newcastle University’s Centre for Rural Economy, highlights that many small firms are still struggling from the effects of the 2001 foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak and will take several years to fully recover.

It recommends small businesses receive consistent and lasting support – both financial and advisory - from the Government and other agencies during this recovery period. It also says that future rural development initiatives should broader and less focused on the farming industry.

The Newcastle University researchers say that the three major probes into the foot and mouth crisis – the final report, by Scottish industrialist Dr Iain Anderson, was published this week – have largely been farm centred. But during FMD, total revenue losses in the wider rural economy far outstripped those inflicted on the farming sector.

For the report, the Newcastle University researchers surveyed 180 rural ‘micro-businesses’ in rural North East England (Northumberland, County Durham and the Tees Valley). in 2001, first in April and then in November. Micro-businesses are enterprises which employ less than 10 people, and make up 92% of firms in the North East countryside.

The results reveal how most small businesses in all sectors were sharply affected due to the interdependency of the rural economy, and the ‘knock-on’ effect from other businesses in crisis. The worst impacts were concentrated in the more isolated parts of the region, such as Tynedale and the Wear Valley and Teesdale in County Durham.

Many business owners coped by taking out or renegotiating new loans, spending personal savings, laying off casual staff and cutting back in household spending, and other household members looked for jobs.

Some firms affected by FMD received financial and advisory help but still lost an average of £16,000 – or 17% of their revenue. While many firms, however, were starting to recover in November 2001, 8% of impacted firms had been forced to temporarily close or shut down altogether. About 40% were experiencing no signs of recovery.

In November 2001, 18% of firms affected by FMD were still paying off additional debts and 40% said they would be looking to cut costs. And looking to the future, about 20% of firms thought it would take them between one and two years to fully recover – but 10% of businesses estimated it would take them several years.

The report makes various recommendations to enable businesses and the rural economy to fully recover. These include making available business advice specifically tailored to rural micro-businesses. Many businesses did not seek advice during the crisis, and the research showed that many were sceptical about its value and found practical constraints in accessing it – the report says these problems need to be addressed.

It also asks that public authorities and banks remain sympathetic to the continuing financial difficulties that many businesses face, and that rural development plans consider the whole of the countryside, not just the farming industry.

Researcher Jeremy Phillipson said:

“Foot and mouth was a crisis for the rural economy but the main emphasis and debate has been around farming. The message is that the impact of foot and mouth extended far beyond agriculture.

“The need in the future is to think more about the interdependencies between different sectors of the rural economy. Foot and mouth has not only demonstrated the diversity of the rural economy but also its vulnerability.

Mr Phillipson added: “The issue of business recovery remains an important consideration through 2002 and beyond. The legacy of FMD for many impacted businesses relates to additional debt, reduced reserves, disrupted trade and investment cycles and shelved plans for growth and investment.”

The study was funded by the regional development agency, ONE North East, and forms part of a wider research initiative funded by the Economic and Social Research Council exploring the business, consumer and institutional response to FMD.

Jeremy Phillipson | AlphaGalileo

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>