Houston Small Businesses Are Struggling After Harvey
It's been just over 2 weeks since Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston, TX area. It destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings and put many more businesses on a very long road to recovery.
I've witnessed an overwhelming amount of support from the people of Texas. They have helped to restore normalcy to live of Houstonians and to rebuild the Gulf port city. One segment of the people hit extremely hard by Harvey are the small business owners. 99% of businesses in Houston are considered small businesses. This means that there isn't a large cash savings fund to dip into to rebuild, and many are dealing with focusing their savings towards restoring their homes. In addition to the loss of their business, they are facing the loss of customers as they slowly begin the process of getting back on their feet.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has offered low-interest loans to help cover the cost of rebuilding and repair, but for some starting over can be very hard. Many companies have already become overwhelmed and called it quits rather than rebuilding. FEMA estimates that nearly 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster.
For local construction and demolition companies there is more work than they can hire for but for everyone else, it'll be a long time before they can turn that open sign on.
So what can you do to help? Donating to the local Red Cross, local animal shelters, and food banks all help the citizens of Houston, but here are some things you can do to specifically help small business owners.
If you have the time, volunteering to is, in many cases, more valuable than money.
Rebuild Texas Fund was started by Michael & Susan Dell to focus on helping communities and local businesses in Houston rebuild and recover after Harvey.
GoFundMe campaigns for small businesses are a great way to give directly to a business in need.