Risk Reduction for Small Business Resiliency in Rhode Island

RPS worked with a highly-qualified project team, including the University of Rhode Island (URI) Coastal Resources Center (CRC), Milone & MacBroom Incorporated (MMI), the Climate Action Business Association (CABA), and Spaulding Environmental, to create comprehensive risk reduction guides to support small business resiliency to extreme weather events.

Key Details

Project Name

Risk Reduction for Small Business Resiliency in Rhode Island

Sector

  • Property - Commercial and Retail/Education
  • Defense and government services - Security and Safety
  • Water - Flooding and Drainage 

Client

RI Division of Statewide Planning

Location

State of Rhode Island

Services Provided

Analysis of regions of the state most exposed to extreme weather, assessments of small businesses, development of risk reduction options, and creation of eight risk reduction guides based on small business types in Rhode Island

Challenge

The State of Rhode Island suffered extreme damage following several large storm events, including Hurricane Irene (2011), Hurricane Sandy (2012), and Snowstorm Nemo (2013).  In Rhode Island, 99% of businesses are small, and these small businesses employ 53% of the private workforce.  Nationally, 90% of small businesses fail within two years of a disaster.  Because of the importance of small businesses to the state economy, the Division of Statewide Planning launched this project to improve the resiliency of these businesses to extreme weather events.

Solution

RPS worked with its team of subcontractors to develop eight risk reduction guides for prominent business types present in the state of Rhode Island.  The business types included retail, real estate, lodging/accommodations, water-dependent businesses, restaurant/food, construction, manufacturing, and service provider.  These guides allow the business owner to assess vulnerabilities, to identify appropriate risk reduction options, to learn about types of insurance coverage, and to access critical state resource support information.

Result

The guides created by the RPS team provided helpful recommendations for small business owners to ensure they can operate following an extreme weather event.  Provided electronically on the project’s website (www.climatechange.ri.gov/smallbiz) and as hard copies distributed throughout the state, these guides will be a key resource for the state’s small businesses and will ensure the state economy does not suffer following severe storms.

Statistics

102
Small businesses assessed
8
Risk reduction guides produced

Timeline

  • 2018

    Project Start, August 16th

  • 2018

    Exposure Analysis Completed – October 31st

  • 2018

    Vulnerability Assessment Complete – February 4th

  • 2019

    Draft Guides Complete – April 30th

  • 2019

    Marketing and Evaluation Complete – May 31st

  • 2019

    Final Guides Complete – June 18th

  • 2019

    Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) Brief – June 24th

  • 2019

    Project Complete – June 30th

1 /08
2018

Project Start, August 16th

2018

Exposure Analysis Completed – October 31st

2018

Vulnerability Assessment Complete – February 4th

2019

Draft Guides Complete – April 30th

2019

Marketing and Evaluation Complete – May 31st

2019

Final Guides Complete – June 18th

2019

Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) Brief – June 24th

2019

Project Complete – June 30th

Key People

Gabrielle McGrath, RPS, Project Manager

Kelly Knee, RPS, Technical Advisor

Roberta Groch and Caitlin Greeley, State of Rhode Island Project Managers

David Murphy, MMI

Pam Rubinoff, URI CRC

Contact Us

McGrath, Gabrielle PREFERRED (NAM).jpg

Gabrielle McGrath

Senior Scientist +1 401 789 6224 EMAIL
South Kingstown | US

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