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If you’re reading this from outside of the UK you may have heard we’ve had a bit of rain recently. That’s a British understatement. Actually, January 2014 has been the wettest month in over 250 years.

The national media has swung its attention, rightly so, onto the plight of thousands of residents to examine the devastating flooding in the Somerset Levels and the incredible storm surges which have battered the Devon and Cornwall coastline. Unfortunately one of the consequences of all this attention is is that isn't doesn't do businesses much good.

Down here we have a heavy reliance on tourism, and when the weather is less rain/winds/floods it’s a truly amazing part of the world.

The first school break of 2014 begins next week. This is normally the first sign of the tourist industry getting back into its stride for a busy year ahead. But with the with the continued media coverage, will anyone come to visit?

In fact businesses from the tip of Cornwall eastwards are making it clear that we are very much open for business. The sentiment that actually we’re not entirely shut and cut off from the rest of the world has been spearheaded by @southwestUK who have galvanised businesses from across the counties to start using the the hashtag #openforbusiness.

Tweets like this kick things off: 

Things have spiralled quickly with the new hashtag and if you look at Twitter there are hundreds of local business banging the drum for the West Country, and that’s just today’s tweets. Asking @southwestUK how many times the hashtag has been used, their answer was:

"'Masses, masses and masses! We are having real problems trying to keep up (those tweeted to us, also those with just the hashtag)"

This is what I love about Twitter and its amazing capacity to spread awareness. As the weather continues to batter parts of the south of England today, it’s a great feeling to know that there are so many fantastic businesses using Twitter who are determined to keep promoting the area. A huge well done to the South West! Certainly some level of disruption remains around the area, but the trains, motorways and airports continue to run, so here's to a cracking half term. 

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If you're not already doing so, make sure to follow @SouthWestUK and let the country know that we're #openforbusiness

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