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Irene Spared Some Small Businesses, Devastated Others

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 8/30/2011

Businesses already struggling from the country's stagnant economy are attempting to regain their footing after Hurricane Irene. Some businesses were greatly affected while others remained mostly untouched.

Up to $10 billion of damage to small businesses was left in the wake of Hurricane Irene, preliminary estimates from the Small Business Administration said. The agency is just beginning to assess the scope of the damage, but it found that some businesses in the Northeast experienced little damage while others were greatly affected, CNN reported.

Hurricane Irene Small Business Damage

Although the hurricane eventually was downgraded to a tropical storm, its high winds alone caused billions in damage from North Carolina and states to the north. Many small businesses already suffering from the sluggish economy don't have the financial resources to protect themselves from great damage, let alone rebuild after the storm.

However, CNN noted that while flooding that often is the result of hurricanes isn't covered unless home or business owners have federal flood insurance, damage from wind is typically covered by property insurance. The Consumer Federation of America advised those who experienced damage to keep detailed notes and report claims quickly.

The SBA and American Red Cross teamed up before and after the storm to help businesses prepare for and recover from the storm. According to the White House blog, between 15 and 40 percent of businesses don't recover from major disasters.  

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