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Is Your Company Resilient Enough to Recover After a Major Disaster?

Is Your Company Resilient Enough to Recover After a Major Disaster?

By James Rivera, SBA Official
Published: August 14, 2013 Updated: August 14, 2013

Small businesses play an important role in the nation’s economic growth.   These small companies are also vulnerable to major financial losses—to the point of being forced to shut down for good—as a result of a severe weather event.

In 2012 the record-breaking drought that affected the majority of the continental U.S., and Hurricane Sandy caused economic losses in the billions for small businesses.  So far this fiscal year the SBA has approved more than 4,900 business disaster loans totaling more than $518 million.  The increase in the extreme weather events means that it’s crucial for small businesses to engage in disaster preparedness planning.

A recent report by the Small Business Majority and the American Sustainable Business Council estimates the average cost of downtime from small businesses affected by an extreme weather event is $3,000 per day.   Here are some other interesting facts from the report:

  • Since small businesses don’t have access to the capital and resources of large corporations, these companies can suffer lasting economic damage following a single major disaster. 
  • Of the 60,000 to 100,000 small businesses negatively affected by Hurricane Sandy, up to 30 percent are estimated to have failed as a direct result of the storm.
  • According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2011 and 2012 were the two most extreme years on record for destructive weather events, which caused a total of more than $170 billion in damages, much of that to businesses.

We’re here to help small businesses thrive, and become resilient enough to withstand any kind of natural or man-made disaster.  In September, during National Preparedness Month, the SBA and Agility Recovery will co-host free webinars focused on different aspects of business continuity.   

The webinars will be held on Wednesdays, at 2 p.m. EDT:

  • September 11: Protecting Your Organization by Preparing Your Employee

             Registration Link:

  • September 18: The NEW 10 Steps to Preparedness - Lessons from the Past  

              Registration Link:

  • September 25: Crisis Communications for any Organization    

              Registration Link:

To help you get started with your disaster planning, download one of Agility’s useful checklists that cover tips on how to build an emergency kit, how to do a risk assessment, and what to take when you evacuate.

Building a disaster preparedness plan is easier, and less expensive than you think.  The time you take to protect your employees, customers, and your assets will go a long way toward making your company resilient and prepared to support your local economy.

About the Author:

James Rivera
James Rivera

SBA Official

James Rivera was named Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance in November 2009 after serving for several months as Acting Associate Administrator. In a typical year, his office approves about 20,000 loans totaling about $1 billion. This is the SBA’s sole direct lending program.