SMEs and flood impacts : The case of the 2009 flood event in Cockermouth

Wedawatta, HG, Ingirige, MJB and Proverbs, D 2014, 'SMEs and flood impacts : The case of the 2009 flood event in Cockermouth' , Journal of Flood Risk Management, 7 (1) , pp. 42-53.

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Flooding can have a devastating impact on businesses; especially on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) who may be unprepared and vulnerable to the range of both direct and indirect impacts. SMEs may tend to focus on the direct tangible impacts of flooding, limiting their ability to realise the true costs of flooding. Greater understanding of the impacts of flooding is likely to contribute towards increased uptake of flood protection measures by SMEs, particularly during post flood property reinstatement. This study sought to investigate the full range of impacts experienced by SMEs located in Cockermouth following the floods of 2009. The findings of a questionnaire survey of SMEs revealed that businesses not directly affected by the flooding experienced a range of impacts and that short term impacts were given a higher significance. A strong correlation was observed between direct, physical flood impacts and post-flood costs of insurance. Significant increases in the costs of property insurance and excesses were noted, meaning that SMEs will be exposed to increased losses in the event of a future flood event. The findings from the research will enable policy makers and professional bodies to make informed decisions to improve the status of advice given to SMEs. The study also adds weight to the case for SMEs to consider investing in property level flood risk adaptation measures, especially during the post flood reinstatement process. Keywords: Adaptation, Business continuity, Climate change, Flooding, Resilience, SMEs, Vulnerability

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments (UPRISE)
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Flood Risk Management
Publisher: Wiley
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1753-318X
Related URLs:
Funders: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
Depositing User: Dr. Bingunath Ingirige
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2013 09:55
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:20

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