Wells Fargo survey: Business owners more prepared for emergencies at home than at work

One in five small businesses has been impacted by a disaster in the past

SAN FRANCISCO - August 29, 2011

In a year when major disasters have impacted many areas of the United States, less than a third (31 percent) of business owners in a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey said their businesses are extremely or very prepared for such disasters, with another 46 percent indicating they are only somewhat prepared. Over half (54 percent) indicated they are not concerned about a disaster impacting their business.

The survey, conducted July 6-12, posed questions to business owners about their emergency preparedness for major disasters (i.e., fire, tornado, hurricane) and seasonal weather events (i.e., snow, ice, minor flooding).

“Small business owners know what it means to face unexpected challenges, and how to adapt their businesses to survive,” said Doug Case, Wells Fargo small business segment manager. “But for many small business owners, day-to-day business concerns in an uncertain economy require their full attention and emergency preparedness may often be set aside for another day.”

The results suggest more business owners are prepared on the home front than on the business front. Only 37 percent of business owners surveyed by Wells Fargo and Gallup have a defined and practiced emergency plan at work compared to 54 percent at home. The same was true for other areas of preparedness:

  • Emergency supplies (52% business, 71% home)
  • Knowledge of where to seek shelter (64% business, 79% home)
  • Knowledge of evacuation routes (68% business, 79% home)
  • Reviewing communication plans (49% business, 67% home)
  • Having insurance policies with coverage for a disaster (73% business, 86% home)

“While the majority of business owners report having insurance for a potential disaster, more than one in four does not have the protection they need,” said Tom Ryan, Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo Insurance, Inc. “Protection against unexpected emergencies is essential for long-term success. Wells Fargo Insurance is helping business owners determine the appropriate coverage based on their business’ needs and level of risk.”

The full report can be found on the Small Business Index page of the Wells Fargo Business Insight Resource Center at www.wellsfargobusinessinsights.com/small-business-index

About the Small Business Index
Since August 2003, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners across the United States on current and future perceptions of their business financial situation. The Index also has questions related to a topic of interest in the current environment. Results are based are based on telephone interviews with 605 U.S. small business owners in all 50 states conducted July 6-12. The margin of sampling error is +/- four percentage points.

About Gallup
For more than 70 years, Gallup has been a recognized leader in the measurement and analysis of people’s attitudes, opinions and behavior. While best known for the Gallup Poll, founded in 1935, Gallup’s current activities consist largely of providing marketing and management research, advisory services and education to the world’s largest corporations and institutions.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.3 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally. With approximately 275,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 23 on Fortune’s 2011 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. .

Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender (2009 Community Reinvestment Act government data) and a leading lender to women- and diverse-owned businesses. With the nation’s largest network of retail banking stores, and an award-winning online Business Insight Series, including videos, webcasts and articles, Wells Fargo provides business owners with timely advice and information to educate and help them succeed financially. For more information, or to speak with a Wells Fargo banker, visit wellsfargo.com/biz or call the National Business Banking Center at 1-800-CALL-WELLS

Note: Complete survey results available upon request.

Media
Jim Seitz
612-316-2447
jim.seitz@wellsfargo.com