For the third consecutive year, Apple tops the list of most innovative companies.
When Disaster Strikes
With one forecasting firm already predicting economic damages from Hurricane Sandy at up to $50 billion and the insured losses at up to $20 billion, the super storm that struck the Northeast Monday night could easily become the second-most expensive catastrophe in American history -- behind only Hurricane Katrina.
For many small business owners affected by the storm -- and already struggling in a sluggish economy -- the wind and rain also may have brought a death knell to their hopes of entrepreneurship. However, there are many resources available to those hoping to rebuild.
Most experts agree the U.S. Small Business Administration is the best place to start. The SBA has disaster loans up to $2 million for businesses and private non-profit organizations of any size to repair damaged real estate, equipment, inventory and other assets. The SBA may increase a loan up to 20 percent of the total amount to make improvements that lessen the risk of property damage by future disasters.
For small businesses, the SBA also offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster -- regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.
Other tips include assessing the damage to the business quickly -- taking pictures and writing everything down -- and contacting your insurance agent. Also, read the insurance policy carefully and make sure there are no exclusions for "acts of God."
In addition, many banks, such as Bank of America, are waiving overdraft, late payment and other fees to customers in affected areas. Customers in those areas also may be eligible for an increase in their credit limits, or payment modifications or extensions for loans, credit cards or lines of credit.