The majority of small employers — about 60 percent — believe climate change and extreme weather events are an urgent problem that can disrupt the economy and harm businesses, according to a scientific opinion poll.
The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Small Business Majority, found four in 10 strongly believe this (see chart). It also found a third of American small businesses have seen extreme weather impact their business or someone around them.
Small businesses want to know the government is equipped to help them rebuild from future extreme weather events, the poll found. Forty-two percent of respondents 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. Meanwhile, 21 percent said they weren’t sure if the SBA should track claims and 37 percent said it shouldn’t.
Small Business Authority notes that 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.
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.
Extreme weather events like last summer’s drought and Hurricane Sandy affected businesses and exposed the US’ economic vulnerability to climate change, according to the 500 firms including Nike and GM that have signed Ceres’ Climate Declaration. The declaration calls upon federal policymakers to address climate change as an economic opportunity.