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Extreme Weather Puts Economic Chill on Virginia Small Businesses

Small Business Majority
Tuesday, 4 March, 2014

Extreme weather events have been front-page news lately, especially with the U.S. experiencing record storms across much of the country and devastating droughts in the West. Research shows small businesses are especially susceptible to financial ruin after an extreme weather event. 

It’s not surprising then that Small Business Majority's polling found nearly 1 in 5 Virginia small business owners had to lay off workers after they were negatively impacted by an extreme weather event.

Key Findings

Small business owners have laid off employees as a result of extreme weather events: Due to the devastating financial impacts of extreme weather on their businesses, nearly 1 in 5 small business owners (18%) have had to lay off employees. What’s more, a vast 59% of respondents report having to close their business for up to a week after a storm, and some owners say they’ve had to close for as long as 14 to 30 days.

Four in 10 Virginia small employers have been personally affected by extreme weather events: Four in 10 (39%) Virginia small business owners report they have personally seen examples of extreme weather financially impacting their own business or those around them. When asked whether it was their own or a nearby business impacted by extreme weather events, nearly two-thirds (65%) said that it was their own business that was affected.

Small business owners say they have seen a significant financial impact to their business as a result of extreme weather: A staggering 87% of small business owners impacted by extreme weather say the financial impact to their business was “significant,” and nearly four in 10 report damages between $5,000 to $25,000.

Virginia small businesses suffered economic hardships due to extreme weather