SCORE Resources Help SWFL RebuildJan 13, 2023 04:00PM ● By Chris Bergman
Image courtesy of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Service on Flickr
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, SCORE and our affiliates at the Small Business Administration are here to help business owners to recover and rebuild.
The SWFL chapter of SCORE has numerous resources, including webinars and links to government programs. All of this information is free and available by following the links to come in this article.
Of course, SCORE is also here to help you plan, operate, grow, and improve your small business. Our volunteer mentors are people who have been successful in business and are now available for you — again at no charge, and with complete confidentiality.
It may feel overwhelming to get your business through a disaster, but don’t feel like you have to go it alone. SCORE is here to help. You can contact us to request a free business mentor that can help you assess your current position and work with you to develop a recovery plan.
Get your free mentor today at www.score.org/find-mentor or call 800-634-0245.
Disaster Relief Funds
Your business recovery should start with your insurance company. Contact them first to advise that you will have a claim and to find out (1) what they will need from you, and (2) what they will do for you.
This link is an introduction to federal aid: https://www.disasterassistance.gov/. This is a central application portal that will lead you to other opportunities.
If you need a loan to recover and get back to business, this link will open your application for as much as $2 million for buildings, machinery, inventory, and so on: https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov/ela/s/article/Business-Physical-Disaster-Loans
This FEMA link may also offer assistance: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/4673
Please remember that you will need to provide financial records and other essential business documents to apply for aid. In short, you’ll need to “prove” your claim.
Additional information about the SBA disaster loan program is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, emailing [email protected] or visiting SBA's website here: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-locations/headquarters-offices/office-disaster-assistance
Recovery and Preparation are Keys
It’s never too early to start anticipating the next disaster, and this link will provide you with tools and checklists to be more ready next time: https://www.score.org/event/disaster-preparedness-small-businesses It’s a video webinar you can view free on your own time.
And finally, here are some additional tips: https://www.score.org/blog/top-tips-helping-your-small-business-survive-disaster-or-crisis
We hope this information is helpful as you work to recover from the hurricane, and if there’s any additional help you need, please reach out to us at www.score.org/find-mentor