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Disaster preparedness guide for small businesses

POSTED: December 29, 2007 5:02 a.m.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company have teamed up to launch a disaster planning guide for small business owners. SBA Deputy Administrator Jovita Carranza and Nationwide’s Associate Vice President for Safety Bill Windsor made the announcement recently during an event at the National Press Club.
The 10-page guide provides information business owners need to develop an effective plan to protect customers and employees in the event of a disaster. The guide provides key disaster preparedness strategies to help small businesses identify potential hazards, create plans to remain in operation if the office is unusable, and understand the limitations of their insurance coverage.
“The most successful recovery efforts are always preceded by good planning,” Carranza said. “The more preparation that businesses complete before a disaster, the better able they are to rebuild and reopen quickly after a disaster.”
“Disasters can have a devastating impact on small businesses,” said Windsor. “How quickly those businesses can get up and running after a disaster can have a significant impact on a community’s ability to recovery.  Understanding this, the SBA and Nationwide have created this guide to help business owners get their arms around the disaster planning process, and convince them to mitigate their risk.”
Hard copies of the guide will be distributed by SBA field offices, its resource partners around the country and disaster field offices. Nationwide will make additional copies available to its agents for distribution. An electronic version of the guide will be available online at www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/disasterpreparedness/index.html, and at www.nationwide.com
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $160 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #104 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com
The SBA is the federal government’s primary post-disaster economic recovery agency. Homeowners may borrow at favorable rates up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged real estate. Individuals may borrow up to $40,000 to cover losses to personal property.
Non-farm businesses and non-profit organizations of any size may apply for up to $1.5 million to repair or replace disaster damaged business assets and real property. Small businesses that suffered economic losses as a direct result of the declared disaster may apply for a working capital loan of up to $1.5 million. To learn more about the SBA’s disaster assistance program, visit the Web site at http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/index.html
 

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