National, local leaders urge small businesses to prepare for hurricane season

ORLANDO, Fla. — National organizations and local leaders are working to prepare small businesses for hurricane season.


The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience spoke Wednesday morning at the National Entrepreneur Center in Orlando.

It has been nearly two years since Hurricane Ian caused catastrophic flooding in Orlando and other parts of Central Florida.

Business owners and residents alike felt the impacts.

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That’s why Francisco Sanchez, an Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Disaster Recovery & Resilience, wants business owners to prepare now.

He said businesses can do that by creating a plan among suppliers and vendors, having a communication system in place with employees, having important documents on hand, and making sure you’re insured.

“The most important thing is doing an insurance checkup right now,” Sanchez said.

If disaster does strike, also prepare for recovery.

Watch: Seminole County prepares special needs shelter for hurricane season

“Figure out how you can be open, how you can pivot to service your customers,” Sanchez said.

The Small Business Development Center Network is prepared to help businesses in Central Florida get their doors back open with its Mobile Mini Assistance Center (MAC).

“We do one on one consulting in here,” Greg Britton, the State Director for Florida’s SBDC, said. “We help them get their paperwork organized, make sure they have the right data to apply for loans. So, getting as close as we can to where that disaster happened, they don’t have to travel for miles. They can get immediate assistance.”

Read: Hurricane season forecast: How many storms are expected this year?

A reminder that it just takes one storm to disrupt a business.

“Take the time to prepare and get ready for what might eventually come,” Sanchez said.

The SBA announced Wednesday it will be helping businesses and residents in South Florida with disaster loans who were impacted by storms in June. It says this shows it’s committed to helping anyone in the state of Florida.

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