Sauchiehall Street faces a “terrible pummelling” following the devastating Glasgow School of Art fire, business leaders have warned.

Traders have been left reeling following the latest blaze, the third major fire in three years following the first Art School fire and a further fire at Victoria’s nightclub three weeks ago.

Kevin Chan, owner of the Steak and Cherry restaurant, said: “It’s definitely affected us because people can’t drive and park here.”

Businesses have also been impacted by extensive roadworks as part of the Sauchiehall Street Avenue project which began at the start of the year.

Iftekhar Ahmed, from the Variety Bar, said that many businesses and restaurants had been affected by the roadworks.

“Now they’ll close the whole street and it will affect our business because this is the main artery of the street,” he said.

Donald MacLeod, who owns the Garage nightclub, said it was a “gut-wrenching blow for Glasgow”.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Stuart Patrick, said that the fire was a “tragic event and a terrible blow “ for the Glasgow School of Art team as well as the O2ABC, “which is a major contributor to Glasgow’s night-time economy”.

He said: “But it is also devastating for Sauchiehall Street in general at a time of serious change, due to a combination of the recent blaze at the other end of the street and the increasing onslaught of online shopping.

“The overall impact is doing major damage to one of the most important streets in the city centre.

“There is no doubt that Sauchiehall Street is taking a terrible pummelling.”

The Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland renewed its calls for Glasgow City Council to offer rates relief measures to firms affected, a call it had made following the Victoria’s blaze.

A spokesman said: “While it’s early days in relation to plans to get that part of the city back to business, we think that it’s going to be important for the council and other decision makers to get the views of business early in the process.

“We made the case for the council to consider a temporary rates relief after the fire earlier in the year, and we would suggest that similar help might be appropriate for businesses that have been directly impacted by the Art School fire.

“There’s going to be an awful lot of work to do to communicate with the businesses in the area about the plans for streets reopening and any impact on the Sauchiehall Street renovation works that are underway at the moment.

“We asked the question when we saw the Sauchiehall Street fire earlier in the year whether it would be appropriate to review the plans to make sure they still made sense when that street of the city is facing such severe challenges.”

He added: “You have to give the council and other decision makers some time to consider the situation and formulate an appropriate plan of action, but we want that part of the city to be a great place to do business, then considering the needs of current local business and the business community at large will be important.”