U.S. Chamber BCLC Offers Tool to Help Businesses Cope with Wildfires in Western United States

June 28, 2012


For Immediate Release – June 29, 2012   |   Contact: Bailey Gilchrist, 202-463-5766

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) today announced that its National Disaster Help Desk for Business is activated in response to the wildfires in the western United States. The Help Desk, made possible by the Office Depot Foundation, is a tool for fast and reliable information that will help small business and local chambers of commerce access the suite of relief and recovery resources available to them as they cope with the wildfires. 

“Small businesses are particularly vulnerable in times of natural disasters,” says U.S. Chamber BCLC disaster manager Gerald McSwiggan. “Business disruption doesn’t come just from damage to buildings or equipment; loss of foot traffic and displacement of core customers affect businesses, as well. With this in mind, we want to help business owners in Colorado and other states know how to be ready.”

Statistics show that one in four small businesses will experience a disruptive natural disaster and, of those, 43% won’t recover. The U.S. Chamber BCLC wants to ensure that every business and chamber of commerce is adequately prepared before, during and after disasters. Business owners, chamber leaders and individuals are encouraged to contact the Help Desk if:

  • You are in the impact area and want help navigating assistance programs from FEMA, the Small Business Administration and others.
  • You want information about business resilience and recovery best practices.
  • You want to provide support to businesses coping with this disaster.

“Managing through a disaster is about creating networks,” continued McSwiggan. “The U.S. Chamber BCLC and our Help Desk are here to assist in all phases of preparing for and recovering from the wildfires.”

To learn more about the preparedness and recovery resources available and to reach a disaster expert, contact the Help Desk online, by email orphone (888-MY-BIZ HELP or 888-692-4943), or on Facebook and Twitter.

About the U.S. Chamber Business Civic Leadership Center

BCLC is the U.S. Chamber’s resource and voice for businesses’ social and philanthropic interests.  Its mission is to advance the positive role of business in society. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

About the National Disaster Help Desk for Business

Before, during and after disasters, the Help Desk provides fast and reliable coordination of information among businesses, local chambers, disaster responders and donors. Since its launch in 2007, the Help Desk has assisted more than 19,000 inquiries from small business owners and supporting organizations from across the nation. The Help Desk is made possible through the Office Depot Foundation.

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