Effects of Disasters on Small Businesses

Several studies have addressed the effects of large-scale disasters on small businesses. Catastrophic disasters often have the worst impact on unprepared businesses. Businesses with resumption plans are usually operational sooner than businesses without plans.

Almost half (43 percent) of small businesses affected by a disaster never reopen after the disaster, and an additional 29 percent go out of business within 2 years of the disaster.

Low-interest loans supplied by the Small Business Administration and local banks can facilitate the restoration of businesses. In addition, emergency assistance funding may be available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the State's Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service.

Farms often have special claims programs for recovery from disasters-farmers should pay special attention to these and consult their State emergency management officials and county extension educators on what is available. In the past, farmers have been unaware of the sources of funding available to them to help recovery.

SBA representative speaking with an individual