The Boulder County Business Report has suggested that the Boulder Flood could ruin 1 in 4 small businesses—don’t let your business be the “1.” As you begin the process of assessing the impact a natural disaster has had on your business, our Boulder business lawyers offer a few “first steps” you should take immediately.
- Secure you business and business property. This will be challenging because supplies and services will be in high demand and short supply.
- Establish a temporary business center and reestablish communications with clients, customers and vendors. Update your company’s website and make use of social media to express your concern for all affected by the Boulder Flood and to provide customers, clients and vendors with current information about your status. Do your level best to communicate accurately how the flood has affected your business with an assessment of how much time you will need to return to business as usual.
- As we blogged earlier, locate, read and understand your available insurance coverage. For instance, do you have flood insurance? What is the difference between flood damage and non-flood water damage? Can you make a claim for lost profits? Do you have business interruption insurance? Follow your insurance carriers’ procedures for reporting claims and immediately report your claim. Preserve evidence of your damage by taking photographs, video and setting aside damaged items such as inventory, equipment, furnishings, etc. It is often helpful to have an attorney present during the walk-through and meeting with your insurance carrier and/or adjuster.
- Seek the assistance of available resources such as local emergency centers, your bank or financial institution, your local Chamber of Commerce, trade groups or associations to which you belong, the Small Business Administration, friends, clients, customers and vendors.
- Federal assistance may eventually become available but it will not be quick and it will not be a cure-all for the damage caused by the Flood—your business cannot afford to wait on this type of assistance.