A scientific opinion poll released by Small Business Majority shows the majority of small employers believe climate change and extreme weather events are an urgent problem that can disrupt the economy and harm small businesses. The poll also found it is becoming increasingly common for small businesses to be impacted by extreme weather, and they want the Small Business Administration to begin tracking business claims related to extreme weather so the agency can better respond to future emergencies.
The poll, conducted April 12-14 by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Small Business Majority, found nearly six in 10 small businesses believe climate change and extreme weather events are a problem that can hurt the economy and small employers. Four in 10 strongly believe this. What’s more, a third of American small businesses have seen extreme weather impact their business or someone around them.
Last month, Small Business Majority released additional polling that found a majority of small businesses support the EPA regulating carbon emissions and setting standards for existing power plants, refineries and other major emitters.
“Climate change is of increasing concern to small employers like us, because it can cause extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy that can damage our businesses and our communities,” says Monica Byrne, owner of Home/Made & Roquette Catering in Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY, and co-founder of ReStore Red Hook. “When extreme weather affects our business’s ability to function, as Superstorm Sandy did, we need to know there will be loans, grants and other types of aid available to help us rebuild—especially where insurance falls short. These emergency financial aid programs must be accessible and easy to navigate. We also need to be proactive when it comes to prevention, and that starts with smart building practices and clean energy and climate policies to address these issues long-term.”
Small businesses want to know the government is equipped to help them rebuild from future extreme weather events. A plurality of respondents (42 percent) believe the Small Business Administration should track small business claims related to extreme weather events as a way to increase the amount of aid the government provides small businesses (21 percent said they weren’t sure if the SBA should track claims and 37 percent said it shouldn’t). It’s also important to note that while some frame climate change as a partisan issue, the political affiliation of the poll’s respondents was varied, with 37 percent identifying as Republican, 30 percent as Democrat and 33 percent as independent.
“Climate change and extreme weather have been touching an increasing number of small employers, and the government needs to make sure it is prepared to help them rebuild after a disaster with loans and other assistance,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “Policymakers should embrace smart clean energy policies that can help mitigate climate change and prompt innovation—which would create opportunities for small businesses, boost the economy and help address some of the economic uncertainty we’re experiencing today.”
About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority is a national nonpartisan small business advocacy organization founded and run by small business owners and focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. “We conduct extensive opinion and economic research and work with small business owners, policy experts and elected officials nationwide to bring small business voices to the public policy table,” says the group