When starting a small business, entrepreneurs must take into account every scenario, including what to do if they decide to buy out their business partner to how to handle paying taxes to protecting their intellectual property. Still, one scenario that often catches many small business owners by surprise is when a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, wildfire, earthquake or flood, strikes their community, damaging or even destroying their business.
Rebuilding Your Small Business After a Natural Disaster
As Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have recently shown, natural disasters can strike suddenly and devastate communities in an instant. The Denver Post recently published an article on what happens to small businesses following a hurricane. According to the article in the Post, following a weather-related disaster, approximately 40 percent of small businesses close down permanently.
Even if a small business does reopen following a natural disaster, it can take years before they can open their doors to the public again. After Hurricane Katrina, an antique store mentioned in the Post article was not able to reopen for six years. A restaurant that closed during Superstorm Sandy could not reopen its doors for a year and a half.
One of the biggest hurdles that small businesses face after a natural disaster is that many people have abandoned their community. In many cases, it is because they lost their home during the event and their best chance to start over meant relocating to a different part of town or even a different city. Whatever the reason that people move away after a natural disaster, it means that small businesses lose the customers and employees that enabled their business to thrive.
Finding a way to rebuild their storefront combined with finding reliable employees and a loyal customer-base can be too much to overcome, especially if they did not include anything about it in their business plan. That is where having an experienced business attorney comes in handy. Having a business lawyer craft your business plan can help ensure you and your business are prepared to recover after a natural disaster.
At Garland & Mason, our business lawyers have been successfully helping entrepreneurs in New Jersey with every aspect of their businesses for years.