« Business Continuity

Small businesses can still apply for disaster recovery loans

A comprehensive business continuity plan can be greatly beneficial after a natural disaster to get companies back to normal operations.
A comprehensive business continuity plan can be greatly beneficial after a natural disaster to get companies back to normal operations.

Hurricane Sandy swept across the East Coast three months ago, but the effects are still lingering for many residents and businesses. Some areas were so badly damaged that shop owners are unable to reopen. Those that have been able to make their way back are faced with an immense clean up.

Business resumption can be slow following a natural disaster, however, with a comprehensive business continuity plan, the process can run much more smoothly.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering assistance to residents and companies until January 30, through low-interest disaster loans. Additionally, that is the same date residents have to apply for disaster assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Businesses and nonprofit organizations that apply for the program could receive up to $2 million to repair or replace storm-damaged property. Homeowners could be eligible for as much as $200,000 in assistance to fix their residence. However, there is no obligation to accept an SBA disaster loan and homeowners could still qualify for FEMA grants if they are not approved.

According to SILive, a Staten Island online news source, 24 individuals from Staten Island were killed during Hurricane Sandy, and thousands were left homeless. Federal assistance is being offered, and the deadline was extended for two more weeks.

“Staten Island is still awaiting updated flood-zone maps, which will affect rules for rebuilding in those areas, the availability of flood insurance, the issuing of permits and a host of other recovery issues,” the article said. “Without recovery funds, there can be no recovery program.”

The rebuilding process is never easy. Towns and businesses can never fully predict how severe weather will affect their area, which is why a comprehensive business continuity plan can be highly beneficial.