As Tropical Storm Harvey moves towards Louisiana, catastrophic flooding continues resulting in increased damage for small businesses and homeowners around Houston and the Texas coast. But in the weeks and months following the storm, small businesses in the area may find their greatest challenge is trying to find a way to get back up and running.
Small Business Recovery After Harvey
This isn’t just an important factor for the businesses and their employees. Small businesses also play an important part in the community. So they have a big impact on the overall recovery of the area.
Former Joint Task Force Katrina Commander Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore explained the harsh realities in an interview with Fox News: “You know the old numbers — 40 percent of small businesses don’t survive these events…” Honore said.
Small Business Administration disaster offices around the country — like this one in Buffalo, New York — have started hiring temporary workers to respond to the storm and help people in the area with recovery efforts.
In addition, the SBA has some disaster recovery loans available for businesses that need some financial help to repair property damage or make up for other losses due to the storm. Interested businesses can find more about eligibility and start the application process on the SBA’s website. Other entities like Express Business Loans also have disaster recovery options available specifically for businesses being impacted by Harvey.
Aside from applying for loans and assessing the damage from the storm, there are a few other things small businesses can do to pave the way to recovery. Here are some tips:
- Check in with your employees as soon as possible.
- Call your congressional representatives if FEMA has not responded in your area.
- Review current loans with your banker to see if any adjustments are necessary based on damage from the storm.
- Update your email auto responder and voice mail messages to reflect your availability during recovery efforts.
- Be transparent with customers on social media.
- Hire licensed and trusted contractors to handle any building or repair projects at your business.
Disaster recovery certainly isn’t an easy process. But it’s an important one for small businesses and the communities they serve. And a look at Twitter shows other area businesses which have managed to make a difference as well.