How Can My Business Recover Following a Disaster?
Last week, we reported on the massive power outage that plunged the Ocracoke and Hatteras Islands in the Outer Banks area into darkness, and forced the evacuation of tourists vacationing on the islands. Recently, WRAL-TV updated the story. Per WRAL-TV’s report, the islands have restored power, allowing tourists to return as of Friday, August 4 at noon. It is great to hear that the power is back on and tourists can continue their vacations. However, damage has still been done to both tourists whose vacations have been ruined and businesses that depend on tourism, such as hotels, boating tour companies and restaurants. How can a business recover from an incident like this?
Tips to Help Businesses Recover After a Disaster
Entrepreneur published an article with tips to help businesses rebound following a disaster. Here are a few of the tips featured in the Entrepreneur piece:
- Talk to your insurance company – If your business sustained physical damage as a result of the disaster, if possible, do not begin cleaning up the damage until after you have reported the incident to your insurer. In many cases, your insurance provider can send out a quick-response team to assess the damage and estimate the cost of repairs. You will get a more accurate estimate if you wait until after your insurance company has surveyed the damage before you begin cleaning it up.
- Contact the Small Business Administration – In some cases, the Small Business Administration can provide businesses with financial relief following a disaster, including long-term, low interest rate loans.
- Communicate with your clients and customers – Make sure to keep your customers and clients updated on the status of your business. You do not want your clients and customers in the dark about when you will be open for business again or the status of services that they purchased prior to the disaster but had yet to receive. Your customers and clients will be more likely to stay loyal and continue doing business with you if you remain open and honest with them about what is happening during a disaster.
- Backup plan – Prior to a natural or man-made disaster ever taking place, you should already have a backup plan that covers what you should do if your business is impacted by a disaster of any kind. It should include answers to questions like: What if we can’t fill orders? What if my employees cannot make it to work because of the disaster? What if my regular vendors are closed because of the disaster?
The North Carolina business lawyers at Riddle & Brantley have years of experience helping entrepreneurs protect their businesses in Raleigh, Goldsboro and statewide.