Many businesses started 2016 with the devastation left behind by Mother Nature in the form of Storm Eva, a force which caused detrimental flooding across the north of England and Cumbria.
Over the festive season, Britain saw downpours and gales reaching 120mph, mostly over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Small businesses in the north were found to have been hit the worst by recent storms, accounting for almost two-thirds of damage claims reported, with 59 per cent of the worst-hit businesses during storms Eva, Desmond and Frank, being SMEs.
For engineering contractors, a number of opportunities are expected to arise as a result, with the government looking towards investing more heavily in flood defences.
Although businesses caught up in the devastation of Storm Eva are able to apply for £6 million of government money in order to get their doors back open to customers, if the government doesn't plan to prevent it happening again, devastation in the coming years is likely to recur.
Those affected by the flooding have criticised the government and local authorities for their lack of help when flood threats emerge, warning that flooding poses one of the biggest threats to the UK as a result of the changing climate.
Amid the flooding, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that a major review of the flooding defences policy would look at whether more needed to be done and whether the strategy should be changed.
With the government pledging to invest an extra £280 million on flood defences, this could result in an increase in demand for engineering contractors.
Although expected to be a somewhat testing time for businesses, owners remain positive in rebuilding any damage.
Anna Soubry, the government's small business minister, said: "It's been a devastating Christmas for many business owners in the north of England who now face the challenge of repairing the damage and reopening their doors.
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of towns and cities right across the country and it is vital that we help them start trading again as soon as possible.
"“This £6 million is being made available immediately by the government and is part of a wider package of support designed to get people, communities and businesses back on their feet."
With the market in excellent shape, opportunities for engineering contractors specifically are expected to boom. Their experience level, in-depth knowledge and skill set will be crucial to the government at such a time.
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