This qualitative study examines the perceptions of small business owners regarding the concept of climate change in relation to their business practices and explores the implications of the perceptions in the role of business in mitigating climate change. Perceptions of carbon neutrality and carbon offsets are also discussed. Ten small business owners were interviewed using the empirical psychological phenomenological method. The analysis produced five main meaning units which led to the emergence of three main themes: local concern (environmental impacts and scale of solutions), need for more education (for and by businesses and customers), and convenience. Results discussed include the lack of understanding of small businesses of their true impacts and footprint, the perceived inability of market forces alone to bring about change, and a lack of conception of the economic impacts, opportunities, and costs brought about by climate change. Implications are that small businesses may not be sufficiently educated or positioned for any significant practice changes to occur regarding climate change.


Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Natural Resource Economics