Effects of extreme weather events on SMEs: a literature review and synthesis

Gayan Wedawatta, Bingunath Ingirige, Dilanthi Amaratunga

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference publication

Abstract

Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs), which generate more than one half of the employment (58.9%) and turnover (51.9%), form an important sector of the UK economy. Although they are the main drivers of the UK economy, they are also said to be the most vulnerable to the impacts of Extreme Weather Events (EWEs). The world in recent years has experienced a significant number of EWEs, and SMEs have suffered significant economic losses as a result. The now apparent climate change, which is mostly attributed to human interference with the environment over the past few decades, is believed to have a strong link with the increase of EWEs in the recent past. Threats of EWEs are expected to further increase due to their increased frequency and magnitude and increased vulnerability to their effects. Interestingly, EWEs seem to present businesses with various business opportunities and positive consequences as well, besides the much feared and overwhelming threats and negative consequences they present. Understanding such impacts has become a necessity to improve the resilience of SMEs so that they will be better prepared to minimise the negative consequences and maximise the positive consequences posed by EWEs. This paper attempts to bring together and evaluate the current knowledge with regard to the effects of EWEs on SMEs. The paper establishes the case for more in-depth study with this regard and concludes by stressing the need for improving the resilience of SMEs to EWEs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the BuHu
Subtitle of host publication9th International Postgraduate Research Conference 2009
PublisherUniversity of Salford
Pages3-14
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978-1-905732-64-7
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event9th International Postgraduate Research Conference in the Built and Human Environment - Salford, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Jan 200930 Jan 2009

Conference

Conference9th International Postgraduate Research Conference in the Built and Human Environment
Abbreviated titleIPGRC 2009
CountryUnited Kingdom
CitySalford
Period29/01/0930/01/09

Keywords

  • business failure
  • climate change
  • extreme weather events
  • SMEs

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