Chattanooga, TN – On December 18th, Deb Socia, president of The Enterprise Center, announced the launch of an online toolkit designed for Chattanooga’s small businesses, nonprofits and faith-based organizations.
The aim of The Resiliency Checklist is to better prepare user’s businesses for pandemics, natural disasters and other crises.
In working with small businesses and organizations Socia stated that “We learned there are a lot of folks who were unprepared to respond to issues caused by the pandemic and the tornado.”
Socia stated that many small businesses and organizations did not have their paperwork, their licensure, their data, and their relationships organized and coordinated making it harder for them to apply for and receive small business loans, FEMA support and PPE dollars.
Socia referenced the upcoming second round of government COVID-relief funding for small business and stated that, “we need to be sure everyone is prepared this time around.”
“These smaller organizations are a really important part of our economy but they are also a part of who we are as a City, as a County, as a Region. And they are part of our cultural fabric and we really are concerned about their viability,” Socia said.
Socia expressed that when she and Mayor Berke spoke in the Spring, he encouraged The Enterprise Center to create a checklist or toolkit to help the community “maintain this rich and vibrant small business economy.”
Mayor Andy Berke stated, “Back in March, when COVID hit, when we started to see the closures behind trying to contain the pandemic, it was obvious that there was this incredible discrepancy between those businesses that had a number of things going for them and were going to be able to ride out the pandemic and those that were just going to struggle.”
“As we start looking at the light of the end of the tunnel (with COVID), we need these businesses around to come back as quickly as possible and our community should be a place that does this right,” Burke said.
Berke stated that the Resiliency Toolkit is “another Chattanooga innovation and a real triumph for our local community.”
The Resiliency Checklist is free to use and is available in English and Spanish. The associated webinar is also free and available in Spanish.
Through a series of questions answered by the user, the Resiliency Checklist creates a customized checklist specific to the user’s business with the aim of the business/organization being better prepared for disasters such as pandemics and natural disasters.
The resulting checklist, along with all the resources are printable.
Socia stated the Toolkit is open-source and can easily be adapted to other communities.
Workshops for the Toolkit will be held in both English and Spanish beginning in January 2021.
The Resiliency Checklist was designed to be mobile-friendly so it can be used on desktop or mobile device.
Senior Program and Operations Office of The Enterprise Center, Geoff Millener stated that “This is version 1.0. We know that this will evolve with the community and we are really excited to work with folks to make sure it really meets the needs of our local small business owners, local non-profit leaders and our local faith-based organizational leaders too.”
Socia said, “We really want people to use it, we want you to play around with it, we want to learn. We want it to be really responsive to the needs of the community.”
“Let’s hope this work can play a role in keeping Chattanooga and Hamilton County’s vibrant and diverse small businesses alive and solvent for many years to come.”