Lessons on Resilience for Small and Midsize Businesses

Economics for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness in Europe

Disasters can have devastating physical, social, and financial effects. In the past decade, Europe has seen major floods and earthquakes, while images of people seeking relief from record-breaking heatwaves are becoming commonplace. Between 1980 and 2020, natural disasters affected nearly 50 million people in the European Union, and caused on average an economic loss of €12 billion per year. Intensity and frequency of disasters is expected to grow as a result of climate change.

Strengthening financial resilience, investing in risk reduction, and improving institutional preparedness makes economic sense Economics for Disaster Prevention and Preparedness, developed by the European Commission and the World Bank, provides evidence to guide policy-makers and practitioners to make smart investments which can strengthen disaster and climate resilience in a way that delivers social, economic and environmental benefits…

Lessons on Resilience for Small and Midsize Businesses

The Covid-19 crisis exposed stark differences in the fortunes of different small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Well-capitalized startups have weathered the storm better than cash-poor community businesses; manufacturers of PPE equipment have experienced unprecedented demand while hospitality venues have been shuttered; and digitally enabled retailers have been able to shift delivery and customer services online, pivoting into entirely new business models.

Agility has been key to success, or even survival, during the pandemic. But stability and resilience were the hallmarks of high-performing businesses in the previous major upheaval.

While the overall shock to SMBs has been serious, some have survived, and even thrived. It’s not too late for others to adopt the practices that made those SMBs successful in such a tumultuous environment.

In April, the OECD estimated that, across 32 countries, 70 to 80% of SMBs had experienced a drop in revenue of between 30 and 50%. Larger businesses have been slightly less hard-hit as a group, but the pandemic amplified a divergence between leading companies and the rest. In the U.S., the revenue of companies in the top decile by economic profit was flat between the third quarters of 2019 and 2020, while revenue for other companies declined by 11%…

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