An SME-Driven Approach to Adopting Measures of Flood Resilience: A UK-Based Perspective

Chapter

Abstract

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in economic development in terms of generating employment and turnover among a whole range of economic contributions. They also contribute to social cohesiveness and vibrancy of local communities; thus making vital socioeconomic contributions. Although SMEs are widespread in many industry sectors, their vulnerability to many challenges remains high. For instance, research has found that SMEs suffer the most in times of crisis and are the least prepared of all organisations. Given the significant impacts suffered by flood-affected small businesses during the recent years, the necessity for increasing their resilience by implementing both structural and non-structural measures is being increasingly highlighted. Whilst structural property-level measures provide a basis to improve the capacities for both resistance and resilience of the SME properties against flooding, the soft non-structural measures, which are often undervalued, provide the basis to improve the capacity of resilience of their business operations against any flood events. Although various soft measures of improving resilience are available and have been utilised in many instances by SMEs, what is appropriate for individual small businesses depend on a range of factors. This is especially the case because of the highly heterogeneous nature of the small business sector. This chapter argues that on the whole softer measures of resilience have the potential to be more strategically driven in line with business operations. Further, small businesses could add value to their entity in terms of long-term sustainability and growth if such a strategy is pursued when implementing a flood resilience scheme to reduce vulnerability to flooding.

Keywords

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) Vulnerability Flooding Resilience Adaptation 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK
  2. 2.Aston UniversityBirminghamUK

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