In 2017, natural disasters cost the U.S. an estimated $306 billion. In the wake of these disasters, small businesses struggle to find footing again. In fact, 40% of small businesses fail to recover and reopen their doors after suffering from this kind of turmoil.
Business owners whose passion projects have been cut short by mother nature’s whirlwinds need some extra help. In response, Republican congresswoman Nydia Velázquez has authored bipartisan legislation called the Small Business Access to Capital After a Natural Disaster Act.
This act will help ensure that business owners have access to funds when they need them the most.
Velázquez believes her bill will bring small businesses the relief they need: “When disaster strikes, local small businesses are especially hard hit. Facing a combination of lost revenue and structural damage, many firms are forced to close their doors, sometimes for good. This bill would take decisive action to provide small business owners with capital they need to rebuild and get local economies moving again after disasters.”
The bill recently made a trip through the House, where it passed with support on both sides of the aisle. “I’m pleased my colleagues have seen fit to pass this legislation with such strong bipartisan support,” Velázquez stated. Supporting small business seems to be one thing the parties can agree on.
The bill is currently making its way to the Senate. If support there is as unanimous as support in the House, it should have no problem making its way to the desk of the President. When passed, the bill will require the SEC’s small business capital advocate to focus on securing funds for small businesses affected by natural disasters.
Going forward, the bill promises to lift the burden of natural wreckage from the pocketbooks of small business owners. Velázquez insists the bill will become a “much needed step towards rebuilding entire communities” – communities whose livelihoods often depend on the jobs and services offered by small businesses.
Entrepreneurs interested in seeing this legislation through to the end should take a little time to contact their local senator and encourage him or her to to put this bill through. Then, the rebuilding can truly begin.