October 26, 2021

Expect the Unexpected

Disasters come in many forms and often with little warning.

| 5/7/2021

Recovering in the Aftermath

Once the storm passes or the virus is contained, it’s only natural that you’d be anxious to bring your employees back to work and resume normal operations ASAP. But then your insurance adjuster says it could be weeks before your claim is processed. So where will you find money in the meantime to make necessary repairs and pay your staff?

Look to the Florida SBDC Network for help. In times of disaster, SBDCs across Florida serve as the business community’s primary contact for processing and submitting the paperwork for Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans. If your business has been physically or economically impacted by a hurricane, pandemic or other disaster, a bridge loan is your “first step” to receiving short-term, interest-free funds.

Just as its name implies, the bridge loan gives you quick access to working capital by helping your business “bridge the gap” from time of impact to the time when longer-term solutions, such as sufficient profits, federal disaster assistance or insurance proceeds, become available. Bridge loans are activated by Florida’s governor following a disaster and funded by the state of Florida. Keep in mind, however, that just as its name implies, this is a loan, not a grant. You will eventually have to pay the money back.

COVID-19 Recovery Assistance
Applications for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) will be accepted through December 31, 2021. EIDLs provide six months of working capital, up to a maximum of $150,000, to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including continuation of health care benefits, rent, utilities and fixed debt payments.

On-site Recovery Assistance
In times of disaster, the Florida SBDC Network deploys its Disaster Mobile Assistance Centers into communities with the greatest need so that affected business owners can receive on-site assistance close at hand.

These assistance centers are staffed by FSBDC consultants who can help business owners recover more quickly by answering questions, creating short-term recovery plans and assisting with the completion of loan applications.

 

 

Cybersecurity

Cyberattacks against big-name companies garner a lot of media attention, but small businesses might actually be in greater peril. According to the most recent Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), 28% of data breaches across the U.S. in 2020 involved small businesses. Web applications and miscellaneous errors were the top patterns criminals used to attack small businesses, and 83% of their activity was finance related. Even more disturbing, 52% of compromised data was mostly made up of credentials — yours or your customers.

Bottom line: To avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime, start making high-tech security a top priority. Learn all you can about cybersecurity and take preventive measures now. And if you still lack confidence in your digital security capabilities, hire an expert; with digital incidents costing businesses an average of just under $200,000 per incident, it will be money well spent.

5 Ways to Boost Your Firm’s Cybersecurity

1. Be proactive. Equip all computers with antivirus software/anti-spyware and update often. Safeguard your internet connection with a firewall and encryption tools. Password protect router access on your Wi-Fi network.

2. Educate employees. Establish written policies for handling/protecting sensitive data, using social networking sites and reporting lost or stolen equipment; instruct employees in the dangers of clicking on unsolicited email links and attachments; hold employees accountable if they violate these policies.

3. Limit employees’ access. Create a separate user account for each employee and restrict administrative privileges to trusted IT staff and key personnel only. Use multifactor authentication (password + additional information) to gain entry; change passwords often.

4. Back up daily. Back up critical data on all computers and create duplicates of data and files that can be readily retrieved in the event of a system compromise or ransomware threat; store copies off-site or on the cloud.

5. Control physical access. Lock computers when unattended; require employees to password protect personal devices that access your business network and install security apps to prevent data theft.

 

 

Advanced Protection

Insurance is available to protect against almost any business risk. Consult with an insurance agent to determine which of the following types of insurance you will need, then compare terms and prices to decide what’s right for you.

FOR YOUR PROPERTY

  • General Liability Protects a business against financial loss resulting from bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, lawsuits and settlement bonds or judgments.
  • Product Liability Protects against financial loss resulting from a defective product that causes injury or bodily harm.
  • Professional Liability Protects against financial loss resulting from malpractice, errors and negligence.
  • Commercial Property Protects against loss and damage of company property due to fire, smoke, wind and hailstorms, civil disobedience, vandalism and other such events.
  • Home-Based Business Insurance A rider added to your homeowners insurance that offers some protection for business equipment and liability coverage for third-party injuries.
  • Business Owners Policy Combines all of the typical coverage options in a single package at a reduced price; generally available only to businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS

  • General Liability Flood Property insurance does not cover damage from floodwaters, whether from rivers, lakes or oceans; however, business owners may insure their building and contents for up to $500,000 each through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Windstorm Available through Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-created insurance provider, or private insurers; type of construction, size, location and proximity to water determine cost and availability.
  • Business Interruption Pays ongoing expenses such as rent, utilities and, in some cases, payroll when a business must close due to an insured property loss – i.e., in the aftermath of a hurricane.

Tags: Florida Small Business, Getting Started

 

Florida Business News

Ballot Box

Do you think patients should have better access to their medical records?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Other (Please share your comments in the comment section below)

See Results

Florida Trend Media Company
490 1st Ave S
St Petersburg, FL 33701
727.821.5800

© Copyright 2021 Trend Magazines Inc. All rights reserved.