Multi-hazard Adaptation and Resilience: Small Businesses, Hurricanes, and COVID-19

Authors: Eleanor Davis Pierel*, University of South Carolina, Kirstin Dow, University of South Carolina, Jennifer Helgeson, National Institute for Standards and Technology
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Business Geography
Keywords: Hazards, COVID-19, Small Business, Resilience, Adaptation
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 7
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) contribute significantly to local economic development, household recovery, and community resilience. However, they are also more vulnerable than larger businesses to disruptions due to lower cash reserves, geographic limitations, and limited capacity to access disaster-related aid. Two surveys of businesses in the Carolinas were conducted in 2019 and 2020 to study the impact of hurricanes on business recovery and disruption. The second survey expanded on the previous topic to understand the impact of COVID-19 on SME hurricane preparation, adaptation, and community relationships. As hurricanes, fires, and floods coincided with the pandemic, we had the opportunity to study the impact of spatially and temporally coincident events (multi-hazard events) and provide additional insight into small business and community preparation, response, and recovery. This presentation will cover results from these surveys and opportunities for future research.

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