While a disaster can cause trouble for anyone, it can be particularly difficult to handle for a small business. Even for those who are prepared for an emergency, rebuilding can be a challenging and time-consuming process. If your business has been affected by a disaster, there are resources, such as disaster loans, that you can take advantage of to make things go a bit smoother. Here are some steps to take when beginning the process of rebuilding.
Be Careful of Scams
There are many people willing to help during a disaster, but there are also those who would use the opportunity to take advantage of others. It is advised that you request identification from and look into anyone who offers assistance during this time. In order to avoid anyone looking to scam you, it is a good idea to work with local businesses from the area.
Contact Your Insurance Agency
One of the first things that you should do after a disaster is to contact your insurance agent as you will want to file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Be sure to have any relevant information handy when you call to help the process go smoothly. You can make temporary repairs to prevent further damage, if it is safe to do so, but be sure to take pictures of any damage that has been done to the property before you start.
Consider Applying For Financing
If your business has been affected by a disaster, you will likely need to have repairs done and replace damaged equipment or supplies. In this case, disaster loans can help you get the financing that you need. The SBA, or Small Business Administration, offers loans for up to $2 million dollars to assist in rebuilding. Because applications are considered as they come in, you should apply as soon as possible.
Gather Your Business Records
When applying for funding or filing an insurance claim, it can be helpful to collect and organize your business records. There are several items that you might need, including bank statements, business contracts, state and federal tax returns, and invoices from at least the past year. Budgets and purchase agreements might also be needed.
Although trying to rebuild and recover your business after a disaster can be stressful, following these steps can make the process a little bit easier, and funding from insurance claims and disaster loans can help get you back on your feet more quickly.