Businesses’ Blue Tape Shows Climate Change Risk


by | Jul 29, 2013

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SCBARSSome 90 businesses in South Carolina have put posters, decals or blue tape marking a 6-foot rise in sea level — high tide in 2100 if worst-case climate change scenarios play out — as part of a campaign to draw attention to climate risks to small businesses.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Army Corps of Engineers have predicted up to a 6.5-foot rise in sea level by 2100, which would put many of the Charleston peninsula retailers and restaurants underwater.

South Carolina Businesses Acting on Rising Seas (SCBARS), a project of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, asks businesses to show the projected sea level inside and outside their stores with blue tape or to at least post signs explaining the issue. The campaign’s website asks businesses to send a letter to elected officials asking them support policies that reduce carbon emissions and encourage clean energy generation.

Frank Knapp, president of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, tells Bloomberg Businessweek that the state’s tourism industry is primarily small businesses. “There’s not much greater threat to our tourism industry than a destroyed coast,” Knapp told the publication.

SCBARS says coastal retailers and restaurants that have posted signs and tape include the East Bay Deli and Dixie Furniture in Charleston, and the Black Pearl Golf Arcade and Sandal Land Surf Shop in Myrtle Beach.

The American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC), a group whose member organizations represent more than 165,000 US businesses, sponsors SCBARS. A new report from the ASBC and Small Business Majority (SBM) warns that US small businesses are particularly at risk from extreme weather and climate change and must take steps to adapt.

As of last month, a total of 364 American small businesses from 47 states and the District of Columbia had signed the Climate Declaration, which calls on US policymakers to address climate change as an economic opportunity. By signing the Climate Declaration, these business leaders join more than 600 other companies, including Starbucks, Nestle, Adidas and Patagonia.

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