Greater Oklahoma City Chamber - Back to Business Initiative Connects Tornado-Damaged Companies to Resources

Back to Business Initiative Connects Tornado-Damaged Companies to Resources

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

by Kaylee McDaniel

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 24, 2013 –The Greater Oklahoma City Back to Business Initiative launched today in in order to support the businesses in Moore and south Oklahoma City damaged by recent tornados on May 20. The initiative, which is a partnership between the City of Oklahoma City, the City of Moore, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the Moore Chamber of Commerce, will allow physically-damaged businesses to report their needs following the storm and get connected with resources to help them return to business.

“After a natural disaster, it can be overwhelming to navigate the process of getting businesses back to a normal state of operation,” said Roy H. Williams, president and CEO of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “The Greater Oklahoma City Back to Business Initiative is intended as both a resource and information source for businesses – whether that is access to supplies and resource for a temporary solution or identifying resources to support their long-term needs. It is vital that we begin collecting information about the scope of need so that short- and long-term plans and processes for business recovery can be created and implemented.”

According to a map of the storm path and available databases of businesses in the area, an estimated 2100 businesses are within a one-mile of the path of the tornado. Businesses in the area ranged from home-based microbusinesses to large healthcare providers, retailers, construction companies, and more.

“We want to get in touch with every business that incurred damage from the tornado, but we know that it will be difficult in this environment,” said Deidre Ebrey, economic development director with the City of Moore. “We encourage business owners to call 405-297-8943 or visitwww.greateroklahomacity.com/backtobusiness in order to report their damage. Our goal is to connect you with the right resources as soon as possible.”

After a business reports its damage, representatives from the initiative will assist in directing businesses to recovery assistance options—some of which include donations from area businesses and short- and long-term loan programs. Area companies with resources to share can fill out a form atwww.greateroklahomacity.com/backtobusiness to make business supplies, office space or other resources available to the effort.

“Even though their needs are still being evaluated, we know that some businesses have lost everything,” Ebrey said. “Whether you have extra office space or even just extra office supplies, every little bit counts to those faced with the challenge of keeping their business operational after a disaster.”

For more information, visitwww.greateroklahomacity.com/backtobusiness.

Media: Contact Kaylee McDaniel at kmcdaniel@okcchamber.com or 405-297-8971 for more information.