JA Recovery Network is now online and open

The Web site for the Jewelers of America Recovery Network, and its support apparatus, is now online. The address is http://forum.jewelers.org/forums. It can be also reached via www.jewelers.org by clicking on “Hurricane Katrina.”

The network is designed to provide assistance to, and a means to ask for help by, jewelers affected by disaster. It was created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s unprecedented devastation of the Gulf Coast in early September.

“We encourage as many people as possible who have anything to offer to do so and to also to spread word about the Recovery Network to their clients, customers and suppliers so people know this help is available,” says David LeFleur, JA vice president. At press time, several jewelers and other companies had already posted various types of support, and JA office had received a number of phone calls and e-mail from those wanting to help. No requests had yet been received at press time from jewelers seeking help, though LeFleur expects that to change in coming weeks as information about the website spreads and more affected jewelers will need it.

JA is also in the process of spreading awareness of the support network as widely as possible, including links to it on other industry websites. There already are links to it on the websites of Stuller Inc. and the Retail Jewelers Organization.

The recovery network is designed to address specific needs of retail jewelers as they recover from the disaster with JA calls “peer-to-peer support” in areas from insurance to housing. The Web page is divided into two parts: “Resources Offered” and “Resources Needed.” Categories listed on it include marketing/advertising; rebuilding/reconstruction; insurance issues; financial management and cash flow; local support (such as vault or office space); housing; employment support; and business counseling.,

While the JA Recovery Network is designed to assist now those hit hard by Katrina, the intent, says Matthew Runci, JA president and chief executive officer, is to build a permanent resource that retail jewelers can give to and use when natural disasters or other catastrophes occur which affect those in the industry.

Contact JA at (800-223-0673 or 646-658-0246), by fax (646-658-0256), or by e-mail (members@jewelofam.org).