RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – As devastating as Hurricane Florence might be when it storms ashore, many small businesses will recover quickly from damage it inflicts, according to analysis of data from businesses hit by two hurricanes last year.

Womply, a business focusing on providing data to companies based on information from “scores” of the larger credit card processors in the US, says hurricane impact on small businesses can “dramatic” but is “short-lived”

“Of course, individual businesses may experience out-sized damage and even shut down, and certain zip codes likely suffered disproportionately,” Womply says in a blog post. “But at a high level, local businesses are quite resilient to big storms.”

The analysis is based the impact of some 33,000 small businesses that were in regions struck obyHurricanes Harvey and Irma, which hit Texas and Florida respectively, in 2017.

“Past data says small businesses in the Carolinas will bounce back quickly,” a company spokesperson told WRAL TechWire.

“We expected to see a prolonged trough in sales. Instead, in both cases we saw a massive dip around the storm’s landfall followed by a return to normal revenue levels within a week,” Womply added.

“This analysis doesn’t reflect the impact on individual businesses or areas disproportionately affected by these storms. It does, however, illustrate that on average small businesses and local markets are surprisingly resilient to big storms, at least in terms of revenue generation.”

Here are two charts that track revenues before, during and after each hurricane:
Womply graphic

Hurricane Harvey’s impact



Womply graphic

Tracking Hurricane Irma’s impact on small businesses

The full analysis can be read online.