Wednesday AM October 1st, 2008

image of george r. brown convention center

The summit at the George R. Brown Convention Center brought resources needed to get back to business under one roof—state and federal agencies such as FEMA, IRS, Small Business Administration and the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Comptrollers Office.ξ Wendy Saari with the restaurant group says private sector resources also participated, including attorneys, insurance specialists, remodeling companies, supplier partners, security providers and cleaning companies.

"And it's incredibly overwhelming, obviously.ξ Even if a restaurant has only been closed because their power is out, they still have issues they need to address with the local health departments, to get back open and get their business going again.ξ So it can be incredibly overwhelming."ξ Ed: "Employees, all of that."ξ "Absolutely—how do they handle their employees?ξ How do they handle their payroll taxes?—all of that.ξ And so having all of these resources under one roof just gives them a good place to start and hopefully will make them feel comfortable as they move forward."ξξξ

Saari says restaurant and retail business owners face a myriad of problems.ξ
ξ
"Well, for example we just had a gentlemen register for the summit who came up from Galveston, and he said 'well, I can't put an address down, because my restaurant does not exist anymore.'ξ So obviously he's got a lot of questions about how does he deal with his taxes and his issues from his business that are still in place, even though his restaurant is no longer there.ξ So those are the kind of folks that we want to help--these small business onwers that just don't know where to start."

Relief information and links to resources are available online

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

 

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