Cloud-based business planning platforms could facilitate efficient FEMA/SBA small business relief in the case of natural disasters
In areas struck by natural disasters, tens of thousands of small businesses have been damaged or destroyed in one event. This causes unprecedented challenges to the public and private mechanisms designed to address small business access to capital and community recovery
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. And 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 supported and their tax revenues will be lost forever.
Mitigating the economic impact
When responsive government agencies meet with fully documented applicants, the economic impact of disasters can be minimized.
Quickly reopened businesses realize increased business revenue, 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.
Virtual cloud-based platforms can play a crucial role by preparing business people ahead of time for such eventualities. At the FEMA relief centers they’d be able to present virtually all relevant documents: all licenses and tax forms can also be stored within such systems as well. This can streamline the assistance process and prevent the time-consuming recreation of documentation that might have otherwise be housed physically on destroyed hard drives and paper files at an effected location.
Being prepared in this case is not a burden, it’s an organizing and business planning tool for both startups and ongoing businesses.
Smoothing the journey for victims and helpers
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.
By implementing new technologically advanced reporting systems, government agencies can verify the claims of victims faster, engage more easily, and deliver a more successful experience while creating quantifiable results.
This holistic, integrated approach to data management is a decade overdue, 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.
Funding Roadmap is an innovative, networked business planning and due diligence reporting system for funding professionals and entrepreneurs alike. It also includes a video pitching platform, a document repository and deal flow marketplace so entrepreneurs will have an online medium to brilliantly communicate all the essential data – along with their personal passion and commitment.
Ruth. E. Hedges is the creator and CEO of Fundingroadmap.com. and Startups Across America. She has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC’s Home Show, and the Financial News Network did a two-part series on her for their show entitled ‘American Entrepreneur.’ For more information please visit fundingroadmap.com.