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Office Depot, Inc. Small Business Index Finds Many Small Business Owners Do Not Feel Prepared for a Natural Disaster

As Business Size Increases, So Does the Perceived Need for a Disaster Plan

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 1:00 pm EDT



Public Company Information:

"However, it is imperative that SMBs realize the importance of having a disaster plan."

BOCA RATON, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Office Depot, Inc. (NASDAQ: ODP), a leading global provider of office products, services and solutions and parent company of Office Depot and OfficeMax, found that while nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of small business owners (SMBs) feel that a disaster plan is necessary for their business, significantly fewer (57 percent) feel that their business is actually prepared to handle a natural disaster.

According to the latest Office Depot Small Business Index, 27 percent of SMBs have needed to close their business in the past year due to weather related issues. While larger sized SMBs feel more prepared than smaller sized SMBs, one-third (33 percent) of these larger SMBs still do not feel prepared to handle a natural disaster.

“At Office Depot, we understand every small business is unique and that all small business owners are pulled in many different directions,” said Steve Calkins, executive vice president, business solutions division Office Depot, Inc. “However, it is imperative that SMBs realize the importance of having a disaster plan.”

As firm size increases, so does the likelihood that a business will have a dedicated plan in place for a disaster. Eighty-seven percent of those who have a disaster plan feel prepared for a natural disaster. Micro businesses with one to five employees are most likely to cite a lack of need as their primary reason for not having a disaster plan.

“One way to prepare for a natural disaster is for SMBs to focus on having emergency supplies and tactics in place,” said Calkins.

Additionally, the Small Business Index found that SMBs with a disaster plan are significantly more likely to have emergency supplies (first aid kits, fire extinguishers, flashlights, etc.) on hand than SMBs without a plan.

While SMBs feel that Internet and phone outages, along with property damage would be most vulnerable if a natural disaster were to affect their business, lost customer data, along with property damage, would have the most significant impact to their business.

For complete details on how small business owners can prepare for unplanned interruptions, visit

Small businesses in need of assistance with relief and recovery efforts following a major disaster can contact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center’s National Disaster Help Desk for Business at 1-888-MY BIZ HELP (1-888-692-4943) or

This 24-hour Help Desk is supported by the Office Depot Foundation – the independent, non-profit that serves as the primary charitable giving arm of Office Depot – and is designed to enhance economic recovery for businesses after a disaster.

Survey Methodology/Sample Qualifications

Interviews are conducted via the Internet among a nationally representative sample of small and medium-sized businesses. The May wave of interviewing was conducted from May 11, 2015 to May 31, 2015 among a total of 1,500 small and medium-sized businesses. Interviewing will be conducted on a monthly basis in order to track shifts that occur over time.

About Office Depot, Inc.

Office Depot, Inc. is a leading global provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car.

Office Depot, Inc. is a resource and a catalyst to help customers work better. We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

The company has annual sales of approximately $16 billion, employs approximately 56,000 associates, and serves consumers and businesses in 56 countries with approximately 1,800 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – all delivered through a global network of wholly owned operations, joint ventures, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax, OfficeMax Grand & Toy, Reliable and Viking. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, Brenton Studio, Ativa, WorkPro, Realspace and HighMark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at:


Office Depot, Inc.
Sarah England, 561-438-1448