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Small businesses and flood impacts: the case of the 2009 flood event in Cockermouth

Wedawatta, Gayan, Ingirige, Bingunath and Proverbs, D. (2013) Small businesses and flood impacts: the case of the 2009 flood event in Cockermouth. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 7 (1). pp. 42-53. ISSN 1753318X

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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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
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Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2016 14:13
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2016 12:37


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