The South Carolina SBDC network, the state's principal provider of small business assistance, urges small businesses to prepare for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, extending from June 1 through November 30.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center is forecasting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, with a likely range of 6 to 10 hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).
"Now is the time for small business owners to contact the SC SBDC," said SC SBDC State Director Michele Abraham. "One of our 50 consultants located throughout the state can help them develop comprehensive business continuity, emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plans at no fee."
In the past several years, South Carolina has faced multiple hurricane threats which caused significant damage to homes and businesses. "Last year's record-breaking season serves as a reminder to all residents in coastal regions or areas prone to inland flooding from rainfall to be prepared for the 2021 hurricane season," said Abraham.
With the arrival of June, the SC SBDC network encourages businesses to consider the following aspects of disaster preparedness: protecting staff, building/property, data and inventory.
It is also critical to prepare a post-disaster recovery plan which may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve vital data (including employee, customer and vendor records) and operate efficiently with a smaller staff.
The SC SBDC also strongly encourages businesses to back up data and secure essential files such as tax records, legal documents and financial reports.
The SC SBDC is a public-private partnership that leverages higher education and economic development resources 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 vital 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.
After a declared disaster, SC SBDC consultants are available to help affected businesses apply for a low-interest disaster recovery loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans help compensate businesses for damaged and destroyed assets such as real estate, personal property, machinery, equipment and inventory.
SC Emergency Management Division officially launched hurricane.sc, an interactive website that will guide people through the fundamentals of being prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms.
A hurricane preparedness checklist and other emergency preparedness resources from the SBA are available at SBA Emergency Preparedness Resources.
About the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC)
Twenty 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.
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