Study Finds Small Business Owners Hit Hard By Hurricane Sandy Outages

When Superstorm Sandy touched down on the Eastern Seaboard, it wreaked havoc on small businesses.

The Hartford, a leader in property and casualty insurance, released a survey entitled “The Hartford Small Business Pulse: Storm Sandy” that revealed the exact numbers and ways that small businesses were affected by the storm, as well as preventive steps businesses should take going forward to avoid these issues.

One of the most telling statistics from the study was the high number of business owners affected by a lack of connectivity. When the high winds and storm surge from the storm hit, many businesses experienced power outages, and a loss of phone and Internet service. As many as 71% of owners surveyed said they were impacted by power outage, leading to temporary disruptions in business operation.

While only 11 percent of business owners reported physical or structural property damage, 52% percent experienced loss of sales or revenue as a result of the storm. At a roundtable discussion hosted by the Hartford, several business leaders mentioned a number of reasons for their business shutting down during the storm including: workers unable to get to work, lack of electricity, an inability to access offices in flooded areas and supplier issues.

“Our research shows that loss of connectivity had a big impact on small business owners, which affected their ability to contact customers and keep their business open,” said Ray Sprague, senior VP of the Small Commercial insurance segment for The Hartford. “We have found that small businesses who take steps to prepare and protect the businesses, such as emergency communication systems and backing up critical data, tend to be the ones that can prevail after weather emergencies.”

Read more at The Hartford