As the business interruption risks due to natural disasters and a pandemic like Covid-19 have emerged as an important issue in Korea, there has been growing interest in the business continuity plan(BCP) as a way for small and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) to respond flexibly to changes in the business environment and to continue to operate throughout unexpected disruptions. Since business interruption caused by natural and man-made disasters may lead to economic and social instability, it is indispensable for SMEs to create and implement a business continuity plan that can be used effectively in the event of an emergency situation for their survival and sustainable development.
Developed countries have so far taken various support measures to induce SMEs to identify their risk exposures and build an effective business continuity plan to prepare for unexpected disasters and disruptions. Moreover, insurance companies have been actively cooperating with the government measures by providing various insurance products and risk management services. In contrast, Korean government has supported SMEs affected by disasters or infectious diseases through disaster recovery payments, expansion loans, and payment guarantees. However, such a direct economic support by the government cannot be a fundamental solution that can help SMEs secure their business continuity.
To help SMEs to effectively develop and implement a business continuity plan in Korea, government, local governments, and financial institutions should not only develop and provide guidelines and manuals for BCP specific to each industry and business sector, but also offer SMEs more practical and various support measures to establish robust business continuity plans.
With respect to SMEs, they need to build a business continuity plan suitable for them in terms of their characteristics of business, firm size, and business complexity. In addition, it is necessary for SMEs to establish a practical risk management system to secure the effectiveness of the business continuity plan through regular training.
Lastly, insurance companies actively cooperate with local governments in an effort to support business continuity plans of SMEs and they should contribute to the establishment and successful implementation of business continuity plan in SMEs by selling insurance products linked to the government support measures for BCP and by providing a variety of risk management services.