Commission Grantee – California Small Business Development Centers

Helping Small Business Prepare for Earthquakes


According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), there are more than 700,000 small businesses in California that employ almost 50% of the employees in the State. They are the primary drivers of exports from California (over 90%), thus critical to the people and the economy of California.

In order to improve awareness of disaster preparedness amongst the State’s small businesses, the California Seismic Safety Commission contracted with California’s Small Business Development Centers (CASBDC) network to assess and help improve disaster preparedness among California small businesses in the event of a natural disaster.

The Commission-funded effort had two parts:

  1. To conduct a survey of California small businesses and their disaster preparedness.
  2. To create of the California Small Business Disaster Resource Guide, which can be found here.

The Guide includes a disaster preparedness checklist, information on government disaster assistance, and details on how to prepare, respond to, and recover from a disaster.

The project found that the State’s small business owners are focused on keeping their businesses growing and thriving. Preparing for a disaster is not always a priority for small business owners, and less than half had business interruption insurance.

This and similar findings lead to the second part of the effort. To help rollout the resource guide, the Commission contracted with the CASBDC to host a series of educational workshops targeting small business owners in California. The purpose of the educational sessions is to provide businesses with information they need to be prepared for disruption caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters. These workshops assist small business owners plan for business continuity during and after earthquakes. Training workshops were conducted in 2017 across the State.