Where Disaster-Affected Jewelers Can Turn for Help

Hurricane Sandy delivered a strong blow to the East Coast on Oct. 29—and there is no reason to think jewelers were spared. 

At press time, there were no reports of anyone in the industry killed or injured as the result of the storm. But it’s quite likely that many businesses have sustained serious damage.

Any seriously affected store should apply for a low-interest loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration, says public affairs specialist Yvette Jeffrey

“The loans have two purposes,” she says. “The first is to repair and replace your buildings, machinery, supplies, inventory. The other can help you meet any financial obligations, to make sure you cover your payroll and your business stays in business before you settle with your insurance.”

Business can apply at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, or by calling 800-659-2955. 

The Insurance Institute for Safety offers the following tips for companies with damage to their business: 

– Compile a description of any damage you may have sustained. Photograph or video any damage.

– Contact your insurance agent, broker, or company as soon as possible to report any damage. Have your policy number handy.

– Keep safety in mind. If you feel your building is unsafe, have it inspected before you enter. Make sure any clean-up is done with care for everyone’s health and safety, using safety items such as protective eyewear, gloves, hardhats, and dust masks or respirators. If necessary, hire a professional cleanup crew.

– If your insurance contains a “business interruption” clause, you need to specify what is required for your business to return to normal, as well as regular expenses (payroll, etc.).

Jewelers Mutual customers may call 800-558-6411 or send an e-mail to YourInsuranceExpert@jminsure.com.

Additional resources supplied by the U.S. Small Business Administration:

FEMA: disasterassistance.gov

Agility Recovery Solutions: agilityrecovery.com

Disaster cleanup: sba.gov/content/disaster-cleanup 

Disaster resource guide from the IRS for individuals and businesses: irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p2194.pdf 

Association of Small Business Development Centers: asbdc-us.org

JCK News Director