NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey of small business owners (companies with 1-500 employees) in the Metro-NYC area by accounting firm Anchin, Block & Anchin finds that nearly 30 percent of respondents affected by the storm would be forced to make staffing cuts in the event of another storm, and 52 percent of respondents whose businesses were significantly impacted by the storm answered that they were not financially prepared for another disaster.
Despite the large amounts of Federal and state aid that followed the storm, of the small businesses who reported being harmed by Sandy, only 20 percent took advantage of tax credits or incentives to recover.
The storm also drove an increase in commercial rent costs, as 26 percent of respondents affected by the storm saw an increase in commercial rents. For those who experienced no impact from the storm, only 5 percent saw their commercial rent costs increase. Of those businesses affected by the storm, 35 percent saw insurance premiums increase, vs. 21 percent of those who were not affected.
"Business owners have invested in fixing their infrastructure and in some cases provided for off-site back-up so they can keep working in the event of another disruption," said Greg Wank, the Anchin partner who headed the study and chairs the firm's Food & Beverage Practice Group. "However, it's clear that not enough owners have built enough in cash reserves for disaster/backup funding or have arranged for contingency financing."
Mr. Wank also noted that only three percent of respondents said they accessed additional financing since the storm. "Another event like this could create a scramble for capital, which will reward businesses that have already secured bank credit lines and built cash reserves," Mr. Wank said. "Businesses need to prepare now."
Only 15 percent of total respondents invested in technology and 10 percent invested in infrastructure. Among respondents negatively impacted by the storm, the numbers increased to only 19.1 percent for improved technology, and an identical 19.1 percent for improved infrastructure.
45.2 percent of respondents experienced some loss as a result of the storm, while 54.7 percent either experienced no impact or saw increased revenue/market share due to the storm.
The Small Business & Superstorm Sandy Survey polled 266 small business owners/managers via the Internet from a population of owners/managers in Metropolitan New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The survey was conducted on behalf of Anchin, Block & Anchin, the largest single-office accounting firm in the country.
A PDF version of the survey data and polling demographics is available on request.
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Lee Peretz, Anchin, Block & Anchin, 212-840-3456
Bill Smith, Dukas Public Relations, 646-808-3611
SOURCE Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP