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Sandy Help: Where to Go, What to Do

Sandy. Sadly, this name will never make you smile the same way it use to… Remember the movie Grease? Instead, it will forever remind way too many people of the devastation that it brought to New York, New Jersey and so many other states and communities. With Sandy’s furious waves, water, and wind behind us, we are left with the aftermath. For small business owners effected by this, the journey isn’t over. In fact, it’s only just beginning.

To help keep your strength and journey to recovery on track, there are some trustworthy supporters out there who can help you accomplish more than may seem imaginable.

Uncle Sam

Uninsured or under-insured? Red or blue? Uncle Sam supports you. There is a loan program in place through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) federal charter that provides assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses in the wake of a national disaster. President Obama declared Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia federal disaster zones – which calculates to a lot of small business owners in need of help.

The SBA provides low-interest and long-term loans quickly, encouraging swift recovery and repair for businesses. And while “quick” isn’t even fast enough, it’s important to know there is extra attention spent here to ensure speedy support for our nation’s businesses effected by natural disasters. The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance helps businesses return to what they were pre-disaster and survive the loss of revenue as a result of the storm. Helpful in purchasing new equipment, store supplies, inventory  and more, this loan is worth the time to file for.

Another loan to consider? The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Each loan has their own black and white details, but this is a good one for businesses that have suffered severely on lack of economic gain as a result of the business. Sure, we’d like to believe ALL businesses have… and they have… but some will be hit harder. Store closed for more than a couple weeks? This may be for you.

Your Insurance 

There’s a reason for business insurance, and storms like Sandy is one of them. If you haven’t already, contact your insurance provider to identify all that they can support you with in terms of rebuilding your business. This may be all you need to help you recover, but for many of business owners this won’t be enough.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Disaster-modeling company Eqecat said the storm could cost the insurers between $5 billion and $10 billion.” The question is, will your business get any of these dollars?

More Help 

A little too late a little too soon? You decide. But on November 13, 2012 at 2pm until 3pm eastern, the SBA will co-host with Agility Recovery, a business recovery consultancy headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., a webinar on how to prepare your business for disasters — whether that is a hurricane, snow storm, flood or tornado. If you were lucky enough NOT to be effected by Sandy, consider this your warning to get prepared and join this webinar. If you were effected, learn more to help plan for the slim chance – and yet reality – you may be hit by devastation again.

Finally, consider role playing “what ifs” for your business if  a disaster strruck. Do you have an emergency plan? Is there a point person who lives locally enough to your business – in case you aren’t close by – to check in on your business? Do you have a plan for power back up, inventory back up, employee backup and all the other necessary backups you would need? Walk through a pretend scenario if Sandy hit your store – even if you were lucky enough that it didn’t. What would you do?

Help share your insight and Sandy stories below. Want to help even more? We are available to coordinate connections between Sandy store victims and other stores who want to help. Let us know! 


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