South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) Urges Preparation for Hurricane Season
Small businesses encouraged to plan ahead of active 2020 Atlantic hurricane season
The South Carolina SBDC network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, urges small businesses to prepare for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which began May 16 and extends through November 30.
The 2020 season is already off to a busy start. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring the possibility of a tropical development in the Gulf of Mexico this week. According to a forecast by Colorado State University (CSU), the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be above normal, with nine hurricanes, 19 named storms and four major hurricanes.
In the last several years, South Carolina has faced multiple hurricane threats which caused significant damage to homes and businesses.
The SC SBDC network encourages businesses to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season by developing a disaster preparedness plan. Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Not only is it important to protect staff, their building, data, and inventory, it is also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations following the disaster. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.
The SC SBDC also strongly encourages businesses to back-up data and ensure they have access to important files, such as tax records, legal and financial documents.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic currently creating business upheavals, this year offers an added challenge for small businesses preparing for an active hurricane season,” said Michele Abraham, State Director of the SC SBDC network. “Now more than ever, it is important that small businesses have a plan in place. Plans may need adjustments that business owners may have never considered due to the complexities that surround the coronavirus, so it’s important that businesses take those circumstances into account and prepare now.”
The SC SBDC is a public-private partnership that leverages the resources of higher education and economic development to serve the needs of aspiring and existing small businesses. As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function ESF-24 for Business & Industry, the SC SBDC is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation services. Disaster preparedness materials, tips and resources are available at scsbdc.com.
Through the network’s service offerings, professionally certified business consultants can help small business owners develop comprehensive business continuity, emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans at no fee.
In the event of a disaster, SC SBDC disaster specialists are available to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and apply for the Re-entry Program.
A hurricane preparedness checklist and other emergency preparedness resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available at SBA Emergency Preparedness Resources.
About the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC)
Twenty-one South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) located throughout the state’s 46 counties offer no-fee individual, confidential business consulting. Highly-trained consultants assist both existing and startup companies by providing a variety of services including business plan development, fiscal and operations management, human resources, financing options, marketing strategies and much more. In addition to conducting a variety of affordable education workshops, SBDC centers refer clients to useful business resources. Specialized services include government contracting, exporting, technology commercialization, veterans’ business assistance and minority outreach.