The London Underground strikes this month have cost small businesses around £600 million, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

A snap poll of the trade body’s members revealed that the average London business was down £1,297 due to lost working hours, business and productivity.

One fifth of companies  in the south east also reported losses. John Allan, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“We would encourage businesses to look at contingency plans for the next planned action. With small firms estimating a cost of £600 million across the capital, they are rightly concerned about the impact a second round would have. And, as the ripples could be felt outside London, the economy just can’t afford that right now.

“Ultimately, those businesses where staff and customers rely on the tube could be put at a further disadvantage.”

The poll also revealed that a total 58% businesses were disrupted, with 59% forced to cancel meetings and 43% reporting staff absences.

Talks began last Friday to resolve the row, which has centred around planned ticket office closured, potentially scrapping 960 jobs.

Transport for London have defended their plans, saying that the cuts would save £50 million a year.

If no resolution can be reached then a second 48-hour walkout will begin tonight at 21:00, causing further losses to business.