Missouri River flood survey: small Iowa businesses hit hard
October 13th, 2011 by Ric Hanson
Iowa businesses located along the Missouri River are struggling to recover from this summer’s flood. A survey from the Safeguard Iowa Partnership (SIP) shows respondents noted impacts to their workforce, supplies, customers, transportation and in some cases were forced to relocate. SIP executive director Jami Haberl says 140 business owners completed the survey. “Over 70-percent of them were small businesses with less than 50 employees,” Haberl said. The survey results were included in Governor Branstad’s recent appeal to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide financial assistance to Iowans. The businesses were not asked to provide a dollar figure on their damages, but most reported they spent a lot of money to prevent or mitigate flood damage. Haberl says over 70 percent of respondents did not have flood insurance and 80 percent did not have business interruption insurance
She said it’s important for business owners to work with their insurance agents to understand their coverage plans. Many of the businesses were not flooded, but lost business because residents were forced to leave the area. Branstad’s request to FEMA for individual disaster assistance noted the Missouri River flooding destroyed 189 homes in Iowa, while 161 sustained major damage.