Hurricane Harvey hit Houston with a vengeance, leaving behind overwhelming flooding and destruction. While much focus has rightfully been on families who lost their homes, another concern is the future of small businesses in the Houston area. One news source estimated that 99 percent of companies in the city were categorized as small businesses, and affected owners all have a rocky road ahead of them.
Large corporations, including medical or oil companies and big box retail chains, have the capital to not only make necessary repairs in a timely manner but also to absorb losses caused by the flooding. On the other hand, most small businesses do not have huge reserves of cash to help rebuild, especially with an interruption in operations. However, most small business owners do have one important characteristic—determination. The same determination that helped them start their own enterprises can now help them recover after this disaster.
- Assessing Damage and Covering Costs
- Harvey caused damage to small businesses in many ways, including:
- Physical damage to brick-and-mortar locations
- Lack of a workforce if employees cannot make it into work
- Disconnection with suppliers and vendors who cannot make deliveries
- Loss of clients as the public is also struggling with serious losses
- Falling behind on payroll or other obligations
While no one-size-fits-all solution will rebuild all small businesses after the hurricane, different solutions can help. One is to seek any funding assistance for repairs, including low-interest loans offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) or benefits from flood insurance if your business was fortunate enough to have coverage.
In addition, you might continue as many operations as possible remotely or with a skeleton crew if you lack employees. Scaled-back operations are better than none. If you work in an industry that can contribute to repairs around the Houston area, mobilize as fast as possible to book as many jobs as you can. For your own location, do the minimum amount of repairs up-front to get running again and complete additional repairs over time.
If you do not feel like rebuilding is financially viable for your business, it is important to understand how to properly dissolve your business. A disaster is not an excuse to ignore any previous ownership agreements, and you should always discuss your situation with an experienced business lawyer before taking action to close your business.
Do Not Hesitate to Contact Our Houston Business Law Firm Today
At The Weisblatt Law Firm, we have seen firsthand the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey during the past weeks—for residents and business owners alike. We are here to assist small businesses in any way we can, whether by providing guidance to rebuild or wind up operations. Please contact our Houston business attorney or by calling (713) 714-4634 to speak with a member of our dedicated legal team today.
Attorney Andrew Weisblatt
Mr. Weisblatt has practiced continuously since becoming licensed in 1992 and has represented businesses ranging in size from one person start-up ventures to multi-national corporations employing hundreds of people in multiple countries. From 2005 through 2009 Mr. Weisblatt was in-house counsel and chief operating officer of a multi-national corporation in the steel products industry. That in-house position provided valuable insight into how businesses work and what they actually need from their lawyers – both in-house and outside counsel. Attorney Bio