Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Governor Announces Post-Hurricane Small Business Resources


Creates Small-Business Rapid Response Team, Dedicated Hotline
One-Stop Website Guides Delawareans to the Info they Need Fast

image: Governor Markell
WILMMINGTON – Governor Jack Markell today announced a Small Business Rapid Response Team, a Small Business Post-Hurricane Hotline, and a one-stop webpage for related state services. These three actions will provide information to the public more simply, efficiently and conveniently as homeowners and employers work to repair damages.
“Now that the hurricane has passed, we need to provide up-to-date information to people who are working to clean up,” said Governor Markell.  “Many Delaware small business owners have devoted their lives to creating jobs and offering services for our community. We want to help our employers get back on their feet as quickly as possible.”
Governor Markell has created a Post-Hurricane Small Business Rapid Response Team (RRT) that will ensure that small business owners can find the services they need quickly and that they understand how to access them. 
“We have many services already in place to help small businesses, but when you’ve been hit by a hurricane, it’s tough to navigate all of the details.  It’s tough to find the answers you need, and – since most people have never experienced a hurricane – it may be tough to know what questions to ask,” added Markell.
image: small business response team
The team includes representatives from five key agencies, led by the Delaware Economic Development Office’s (DEDO) Business Development Manager, Patty Cannon.  Other team members include:
  • Kim Chesser, Small Business Ombudsperson, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC)
  • Mark Davis, Principal Assistant, Department of Agriculture (DDA)
  • Ed Durst, Operations Officer, Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA)
  • Dawn Hopkins, Executive Assistant to the Secretary, Department of Transportation (and former head of Constituent Relations for the Governor’s office) (DelDOT)
  • Stacey Laing, Employment & Training Administrator, Department of Labor (DOL).
“We’re taking this team approach because flood waters don’t stop at agency borders,” said Markell.  “Throughout our response our agencies and our community worked together, proving once again that we’re a state of neighbors.”
DEDO and other members of the Rapid Response Team will staff a Small Business Hotline (877-484-8485) and a dedicated email address (DE_Rapid_Response_Team@state.de.uswhich will go live later this afternoon.
The state has also set up a one-stop webpage, “After the Storm: Resources for Rebuildingdevoted to summarizing the resources available from multiple state agencies for storm clean-up and recovery.  The site is prominently linked from Delaware.Gov and can be accessed directly here:http://governor.delaware.gov/information/storm_resources.shtml .
The one-stop site will guide Delawareans to resources concerning public health notices, road closures, traffic delays, school closings, yard-waste disposal, damage reporting, dock and pier repair permits, well and septic flooding, agricultural assistance, insurance reporting, fraud reporting, tourism information and volunteer opportunities.  Delawareans can also provide feedback and suggestions to Governor Markell for how the state can improve its response and services.