COOS BAY — As our communities continue to face severe smoke and wildfire damage, the Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Small Business Development Center can assist businesses that have been impacted by these fires.

 “Wildfires can seriously impact local businesses in unexpected ways. Early preparation and planning is critical,” said Arlene Soto, director of the Southwestern Small Business Development Center. “We are here to help. We have advisers ready to help work with businesses through supply chain interruptions, personnel issues and fewer customers that can all be impacted by these wildfires.”

Businesses can contact the Southwestern Small Business Development Center by calling 541-888-7026 to schedule an appointment with an adviser.

Advisers work with each business individually and address specific needs. Advising is free to businesses and confidential.

Some specific issues businesses often face during disasters:

-           Destruction of property

-           Destruction of assets used to secure business financing

-           Supply chain interruptions

-           Employees unable to get to work

-           Cashflow disruptions

“Personal tragedy is often closely linked with business tragedy and interruptions,” said Ms. Soto. “Issues that may not have been a problem in the past can quickly become overwhelming. We are here to help.”

Across the nation, America’s Small Business Development Centers are assisting with major disasters following Hurricane Harvey and the expected landfall of Hurricane Irma. Small Business Development Centers are partially funded through the Small Business Administration and help provide additional local assistance during disasters. Oregon’s Small Business Development Centers are the largest business assistance provider in Oregon and are the only nationally accredited small business assistance provider in the state. Oregon has 19 Small Business Development Centers and more than 40 locations throughout the state.