Disaster preparation plans for local businesses

Disaster preparation plans for local...

DELAWARE - Since September is National Preparedness Month, it only seems fit to remind people, businesses, and communities to always get ready for unexpected natural disasters and emergencies.

That's why Delaware's Small Business Administration toured local mom and pop shops to not just highlight their success, but how important emergency preparedness is too.

"Small businesses are the backbone of the economy."

John Fleming knows the talking points, he knows how to sell a small business, and he also knows how to highlight the men and women running the companies that are an integral part of every community.

Companies that are in his words vital, key to a successful area.

"They create 90 percent of the new jobs in the economy, the revenues created by small businesses are just tremendous," says Fleming.

Businesses like Gigglebugs Early Learning Center in Millsboro.

"We are a five star center in the state of Delaware, so we use creative curriculum, we use Ages and Stages and we meet with the parents and do parent teacher conferences," explains Gigglebugs owner, Rich Spinks.

And to ensure small businesses like Gigglebugs continue to thrive, SBA made it a focus to discuss ways for locally-owned shops to survive during disasters.

Fleming says all businesses should have a disaster preparation plan.

"It's check your insurance, it's make sure that you have a plan in terms of your supply chain. Don't rely on just one supplier for your products."

SBA also advises to have all records, receipts, and contact information placed on a cloud account, so everything isn't lost if the business is wiped out.

Something Gigglebugs plans on implementing.

But for other mom and pop shops, like Dolle's Salt Water Taffy shop in Rehoboth Beach. They have a system that seems to be working since it first opened in 1927.

The shop's owner, Tom Ibech, says, "If we know it's going to come, we have storm shutters on the boardwalk side and if we know it's really going to hit the area we'll put ply wood up on the windows."

Tom Ibech tells us there's not much else store owners here on the boardwalk except hope for the best and like Fleming advised, taking the important documents out of the shop.

"We have everything taken care of we have records of everything and then we just move some of that vital stuff out of here if we think it's really going to affect us."

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