Disaster Recovery Relief: A Natural Disaster Doesn’t Have to Be a Financial One for Your Business
Today, I’d like to kick off a series on a very important topic: disaster recovery relief. DO you know how to help protect your business from the effects of a natural disaster? I don’t mean protecting it physically; after all, there is little way to successfully predict the exact time of weather-related incidents like blizzards, storms, flash floods, tornados and hurricanes. But you can minimize the traumatic impact those things can have on your business with a disaster recovery plan that will help keep your business in business.
It’s a very timely subject, given the words of President Trump’s new head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon. McMahon has said that her first priority is to bolster the SBA’s disaster relief program for small businesses.
The agency has been criticized in recent years for its slow response in providing loans to business owners to help them survive and rebuild after a natural disaster. According to Bloomberg, this “foot-dragging” caused significant harm to businesses and the local economy after Hurricane Sandy.
That is a situation McMahon is determined to end. “We need to get the funds to small businesses, so they can get back to functioning,” she told Fortune magazine.
What IS Disaster Recovery Relief?
Any number of problems can hamper or even shut down a business when a disaster strikes. Facilities and equipment can be lost or damaged. Your employees may have nowhere to do their jobs, and nothing to do them with. Communication channels can be disrupted or even inoperative. The loss of internal communications functions means the work doesn’t flow inside your company. And with normal outside channels shut down, customer relationships can suffer irreperable damage and new orders come to a costly halt.
Disaster recovery relief is a critical component in getting your business back up to speed as quickly as possible. Assistance is available for businesses in a Presidentially-declared disaster area that have suffered damage or destruction not covered by insurance. Many types of loans are also available.
What Disaster Recovery Relief Might Be Available to Your Business?
It’s hard to think clearly in a crisis, so it’s good to know in advance where you can turn if and when a disaster does occur. Certainly McMahon’s SBA is a good potential source of funds. Here are just a few of the kinds of assistance SBA and other agencies may be able to provide:
- Disaster Assistance Loans. Available from the SBA to businesses of all sizes to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets destroyed in a declared disaster.
- Economic Injury Loans. If your business has suffered “economic” injury due to the effects of a declared disaster, you can request this compensation from the SBA. Physical damage is not a requirement.
- Farm Emergency Loans. To help producers recover from diminished production and physical losses due to drought, flooding or other natural disasters.
- Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Available to self-employed individuals who have lost their livelihood due to a declared disaster.
Preparation Is The Best Weapon
It’s good to know this type of assistance might be available after the fact. But smart business owners do all they can to be prepared for these disasters as well as possible in advance. With a good plan in place to limit the damage, your business can come through the crisis in solid shape. The planning sounds complicated. But I’ll be giving you some ideas on just how to do that in the next two posts.
What to Do Now
You can’t always avoid natural disasters, but you can prepare for them. That’s why I’m eager to tell you about the disaster recovery solutions we offer through our partners at Digital Data Centers. Our solutions promise true peace of mind, and can keep your business from missing a beat during a disaster. One of our solutions is a virtual “back-up office” that kicks in and keeps your business functioning as usual in the event of a crisis. Mail, email, printed and digital communications, for example, continue without a hitch.
Rest easy and contact us today to get your disaster recovery quote for print and mail. And join me here next week for the next posts in this series. I’ll be providing a template that will help you ensure that your business is ready to ride out a disaster situation, and offer up some other valuable suggestions as well.