Biba and the ABI are working with government to develop a terrorism risk management accreditation scheme for small businesses.

The scheme, described as a "terrorism audit", would assess issues such as disaster recovery plans and the existence of preventative measures and back-up plans in the event of an attack.

It is believed the initiative originated with MI5 director general Eliza Manningham-Buller, who raised concerns that the UK SME community had "forgotten" about terrorism as a risk.

It is understood that MI5 is keen to raise the profile of the threats that terrorism presents to SMEs and wants to look at ways in which communication to them can be improved.

An ABI spokesman confirmed that talks had taken place with the Treasury focusing on terrorism risk to SMEs.

Biba chief executive Eric Galbraith said: "We have had preliminary discussions and continue to have discussions with a variety of organisations as to how we can help raise awareness on this issue."