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How to Be Storm-Ready as a Small Business Owner

James Jerome Aug 11, 2023

Storm season begins June 1 in Florida and extends to November 30th. You’ve probably practiced how to keep your home and your family protected, but what about your business?

Small business owners can be majorly impacted by hurricanes and other natural disasters. We’ll discuss how storm preparedness can help keep your lights on and doors open during hurricane season.

How Storms Can Affect Small Businesses

According to their most recent poll, FEMA found that 40% of small businesses do not recover after a natural disaster. Issues such as evacuations, structural damage, and power outages can all impact small businesses and lead to closures. Even if a business doesn’t shut its doors completely, it’s not uncommon for businesses to suffer after a natural disaster, whether it’s through serving fewer customers or paying for property or equipment damages.

With that being said, some businesses may actually see an increase in profits, according to The Business Journals. For example, restoration and landscaping companies may have more work as a result of the storm; clients may come to them needing trees cleared, buildings repaired, or roofs replaced. Hotels and restaurants may serve more customers if volunteers come to assist with post-storm cleanup and restoration. 

In short, a hurricane can severely affect your liquidity, for better or for worse. That’s why it’s essential to have storm preparedness plans set in place as a business owner.

General Tips For Storm Preparedness

Storms can have varying financial impacts on small businesses, but everyone has the same risk of injury or property damage when it comes to hurricanes. Before sorting out the financial side of things, ensure that you, your employees, and your business are kept safe. 

  • Prioritize employee safety. 
  • Ensure your building is safe and protected. Check your roof, any outdoor fixtures or furniture, and your windows.
  • Familiarize yourself with insurance coverage
  • Create a plan, such as those available with Ready Business.

Finding the Right Financial Option for Your Business

When it comes to finances, there are two main ways you can incorporate extra liquidity for your post-storm game plan: business loans and business lines of credit. Both of these options can be helpful for small businesses after a hurricane, whether the business is experiencing loss or growth.

For Business Loss

Opening an additional business line of credit can help you fill in any gaps in cash flow. This can also help you ensure employees continue to receive payment while your business recovers from the storm. You can also apply for business loans which offer additional liquidity. If you’ve lost equipment from the storm, an equipment loan will allow you to replace it without putting up additional collateral.

For Business Growth

A line of credit can help pay for expenses while giving you the funds needed to pay any new employees, while a business loan, especially a car or equipment loan, can provide the opportunity to increase your assets without negatively impacting your own funds.

Which is Better: Loan or Credit?

Both loans and credit lines can help with any gaps in cash flow, and both are available at Crews Bank & Trust for small business owners. Since our loans and credit lines are tailored to each individual, your business needs and expenses will determine which is the better option. Speaking to one of our representatives can help you evaluate your business’s storm preparedness, as well as what to do in the event of cash flow issues.

Are you prepared? Call your local branch today and determine if you’re weather-ready.

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