Iowa State University
INDEX A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

07-16-08

Contacts:

Jim Heckmann, Iowa Small Business Development Centers, (515) 294-2037, (563) 580-2952 (c), jimh@iastate.edu

Mike Ferlazzo, News Service, (515) 294-8986, ferlazzo@iastate.edu

For small businesses that suffered weather-related damage, the SBDC is there to help

AMES, Iowa -- Jim Heckmann understands how difficult the last month has been for the small businesses that sustained damage in the recent floods and tornadoes across Iowa. That's why Heckmann -- the state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), housed at Iowa State University -- and SBDC officials are working with Iowa business owners, home owners and renters affected by the recent weather to apply for the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster recovery loans.

Heckmann says there are two types of SBA loans -- those for businesses that sustained physical damage, or economic damage.

"We're now starting to see people who didn't have any flooding, but suffered economic injury to their businesses because of the natural disasters," Heckmann said. "For instance, downtown Iowa City businesses have lost roughly half of their sales revenue thus far because of the flooding, even though they suffered no physical damage from it."

According to Heckmann, the SBA's economic injury loans are not conditional on businesses sustaining physical damage. They are for businesses across the state that suffered economic injury, even though they may have been far from the disaster.

"There are a huge number of businesses statewide that sustained economic injury," said Heckmann. "It happens because their customer base or supply chain has been affected because of the disaster."

Heckmann says Al Beach, the SBDC director in Cedar Rapids, has seen more than 80 businesses seeking disaster relief in the first two weeks since the SBA's business recovery center opened in the city.

And SBDC officials are starting to see business owners that may be looking for a third kind of assistance.

"Wave number three is going to be those businesses that sustained enough of an impact -- either physical damage, economic, or both -- that they now need to change their game plan and they come to us for counseling," Heckmann said. "These owners are asking, 'How do I adapt my strategies for the problems the disasters caused for us -- workforce, supply chain, customer base and all of those kinds of things?'"

Heckmann says business owners may contact the SBDC state office at (515) 294-2030, or iowasbdc@iastate.edu to work through the steps for disaster relief.

He also advises owners of affected businesses to take a step back before they move forward.

"The first thing I'd do is stand back and take a breath. They should get some sleep so they're not making important business decisions when they haven't had a chance to think them through and they aren't as alert as they have to be," Heckmann said. "Don't make any rash decisions, and be patient because things are going to take time to get better."

In preparing to assist Iowa's affected businesses, Heckmann has contacted every member of Iowa's congressional delegation for supplemental funding to satisfy the demands of businesses across the state. He's asked that they include the SBDC in the next disaster appropriation.

"We're looking for an additional $1.8 million to enhance our assistance in the flood recovery," he said. "That's the reason we're hoping the federal government can be of assistance to the SBDC."

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SBDC

Quick look

Officials from the Iowa Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), housed at Iowa State, are working with Iowa business owners, home owners and renters affected by the recent weather to apply for the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster recovery loans. Jim Heckmann, state director of the SBDC, says business owners may contact the SBDC state office at (515) 294-2030, or iowasbdc@iastate.edu to work through the steps for disaster relief.

Quote

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Heckmann

"We're now starting to see people who didn't have any flooding, but suffered economic injury to their businesses because of the natural disasters. For instance, downtown Iowa City businesses have lost roughly half of their sales revenue thus far because of the flooding, even though they suffered no physical damage from it."

Jim Heckmann