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Rethinking Preemptive Disaster Planning: How Technology Can Help FEMA / SBA Lend to and Save More Small Businesses After a Disaster

July 8, 2011 by Josh Buscay

This article is from our friends at Funding Roadmap, your complete cloud-based business planning and funding solution. Join us for a webinar on this topic on Tuesday, July 12 from 1 to 1:45 p.m. PST. Go to www.laughlinwebinars.com now to secure your space.

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The Problem

In states struck by natural disasters, tens of thousands of small businesses have been damaged or gone in an instant! This has caused unprecedented challenges to the public and private mechanisms designed to address small business access to capital and community recovery.

 

Nothing but the shirt on their backs: Affected business owners are too often left without the necessary documentation or information for FEMA/SBA to process their claims and applications after a disaster. The longer it takes for a small business person to painstakingly re-construct their documentation, the more likely it is that they will give up and the JOBS they created and their tax revenues will be lost forever.

Look at the facts: SBA and the Department of Labor statistics indicate over 40% of businesses that experience a major fire or natural disaster never reopen and over 50% that do fail within two years.

Preemptive Disaster Planning tools for a FEMA/SBA loan need to be accessible on websites such as http://www.preparemybusiness.org/ and http://www.ready.gov/ to provide a way for small business people to be prepared for an SBA Disaster Loan, as opposed to downloadable PDF list.

Why we need to solve this problem now

Mitigate the economic impact: Responsive and prepared government agencies can mitigate the economic impact of disasters. Businesses that reopen quickly after a disaster realize increased business revenue, can put people back to work, create new jobs, and provide much needed sales, property and payroll tax for the impacted communities. Early successes are also critical to boosting morale during recovery efforts and can have a substantial positive effect on the community rebuilding effort.

The technology solution

Make it easy, make it available: We have the technology to solve this problem now and increase the success rate of rebuilding American small businesses and towns long before they may need it. It’s called the http://fundingroadmap.com , a standardized private label licensed cloud-based SBA and GAAP compliant, transparent multiple choice business plan and due diligence reporting system and repository, where all information required by the SBA for a disaster loan is included and can be retrieved from anywhere at any time. See the list here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/InfoNeeded.aspx as required by the SBA.

Cloud-based: Fundingroadmap technology can instantly play a very important role in preparing entrepreneurs and small business owners ahead of time so they can compile and protect financial documents and information in an SBA compliant standardized reporting system that is ready in an emergency for the process of applying for FEMA/ SBA small business loans and other necessary capital. Completing a Funding Roadmap document enables a business to look ahead, allocate resources, take key steps, meet challenges, solve problems, and embrace opportunities. It provides a place to compile facts, upload and store securely online all of the answers to the mandatory questions and the documents lenders and investors require during the review process for capital.

Keep moving forward: We all recognize the importance of a plan for startups. Less obvious is the need for established companies to maintain long term effective plans that are flexible enough to adjust to changing challenges and goals and can be made instantly available for review by FEMA/ SBA online should an emergency strike.

Improve staff efficiency

Go virtual: Instant access to this critical information will allow FEMA counselors to assist the recovery efforts of those FEMA staff on the ground in the disaster states, remotely and quickly helping determine the current and future status of a company.

Go mobile: This information is accessible on mobile devices and provides instant access for review by investors, lenders, SBA/FEMA or insurance companies, helping small businesses back to productivity much more quickly than current methods. Fundingroadmap helps claims processors to quickly and accurately determine resources to be distributed to claimants after a disaster with complete security and transparency. You can learn and see more on this short webinar July 12, 2011 from 1 to 1:45 p.m. PST. Join at www.laughlinwebinars.com to secure your space.

The participants’ journey

Keep everyone calm, make the process smoother: Post-disaster processing staff, instead of commiserating with victims and giving them a nearly impossible to-do list of required documents, could instead be receiving applicants armed with everything they need. Claims and loans could be processed in hours, days or weeks, instead of months, years or never.

Bring back jobs: Providing a faster more efficient and successful process for small business owners desperately trying to access capital, to quickly recover after a disaster strikes, rebuilds a community faster, bringing back jobs, community morale and tax revenues.

By implementing a new technologically advanced standardized reporting system, governments can reach victims faster and farther away, engage more easily, and deliver a more successful experience while creating quantifiable results.

This holistic, integrated approach to data management empowers everyone involved and will revolutionize the government’s ability to preserve the businesses of the hard working entrepreneurs who have built this great nation.

By adopting the Fundingroadmap, government can solve the problems as outlined above quickly, and systemically ensure better results.


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