Framework for Engaging Small- and Medium-Sized Businesses in Maryland on Climate Resilience

From the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), this Framework provides guidance to state and local governments on how to engage with and assist small- to medium-sized businesses interested in enhancing their resilience to climate change. The report offers recommendations on how governments can address the resources and information needs of these businesses, and highlights four key recommendations for engaging small business on climate resilience. C2ES asserts that assisting small and medium businesses in resilience planning protects local economies and is mutually beneficial for the public and private sectors. While the climate risks and impacts described are focused on Maryland, the Framework provides useful advice applicable anywhere. 

The main recommendations in the report are summarized in the graphic below.

In regard to the strategy of using trusted messengers, C2ES suggests going through the local Chamber of Commerce, trade associations, and civic associations, among others. One example of leveraging existing channels would be for the city to provide businesses with a map of sea-level rise projections when they apply for a permit. The report provides real world examples of business climate collaborations in Detroit, Michigan; California; and Washington State that create opportunities for small and medium businesses to build capacity for resilience planning. A list of information-type resources is included that local governments could develop such as design guidelines for floodproofing, and lists of low-cost upgrades.

The report also includes links to a range of free online visualization tools that can help small- to medium-sized businesses understand the local climate change risks posed to their business. These resources are listed on pages 6-7 of the report.

The Framework’s recommendations are based on findings from new research conducted by C2ES, and existing resources on climate resilience planning for businesses. In order to develop the Framework, C2ES interviewed various stakeholders from the public and private sector, and surveyed small- to medium-sized businesses throughout Maryland. Appendix A of the report includes the survey of Maryland businesses, and Appendix B includes the survey results.


Publication Date: May 2017

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  • Engagement
  • Policy analysis/recommendations

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