Tool to Assess Economic Costs of Flooding on SMEs
Bridging the knowledge gap to boost SME flood resilience
By increasing our understanding of the impacts of flooding on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this project helps a range of different actors, including insurers and local authorities, to provide SMEs with better and more tailored support resulting in a more resilient sector.
99% of Yorkshire’s private sector is made up of SMEs. These organisations are often vulnerable to flooding. When they are affected by a flood event, the knock–on effects to the regional economy can be significant and far-reaching. The lack of knowledge about the economic impacts of flooding on SMEs is an important gap that brings significant challenges to SMEs, insurers, lenders, local and regional authorities, and the national government.
This project seeks to fill the knowledge gap about SME flood risk management by working with local authorities and the insurance sector to increase their understanding on the economic costs and resilience efforts undertaken by SMEs. A key part of the project involves developing a robust methodology to assess the direct and indirect costs of flooding. This information enables local authorities to carry out more comprehensive future flood assessments and prepare more robust business plans to lobby for additional funds to be better prepared against future flooding. In addition, the project provides detailed information on the effectiveness of resilience measures and risk reduction activities undertaken by SMEs. This information is useful to insurers, lenders and surveyors, allowing them to improve their confidence that that flood risk is properly priced and managed by SMEs, and thus offer tailored products for small businesses.
Views from the sector
Project Team: Lead Dr Paola Sakai – University of Leeds; Dr Marco Sakai – University of York; Patrick Bowes, Seamus McDonnell, Justin Wilson – West Yorkshire Combined Authorities; Jon Follows – Environment Agency; Flood Risk Managers of the Leeds City Region; Stephen Curry – Upper Calder Valley Renaissance; Graham Brogden – insurance expert and former head of Defra’s Round Table; Ian Gibbs Sedgwick (and also co-leader of the Defra’s task force Group 2), and iCASP as our main financing partner and UKRI ESRC (ES/S001727/1).