Get prepared for small business emergencies

Business owners will learn the tools they need to stay in business after an emergency during a free University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center disaster preparedness seminar.

“Business Continuity Planning” will be from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday at the SBDC, 3402 N. Ben Wilson St. Lunch will be provided by SERVPRO. Seating is limited to 10 participants.

The seminar will cover the basics of continuity planning, using risk and planning programs and lessons learned from past disasters. Participants will be given a digital business continuity tools CD to use to create their own continuity plan.

“Any emergency – small or large – can be difficult for a small business to recover from,” UHV SBDC Director Joe Humphreys said. “But by being proactive, business owners can mitigate some of those problems. That’s why the focus on being prepared is crucial. Although I hope they never have to implement it, business owners and their employees will feel better having a plan of action to use just in case they need it.”

Desiree Orosco

Seminar sessions will be led by Desiree Orosco, SERVPRO marketing representative in Victoria; Shilo Monney, general manager of Southern Field Maintenance in Victoria; and Kacey Lindemann Butler, SBDC senior business advisor.

Shilo Monney

Monney will present lessons he learned from a 2009 fire that devastated the Southern Field Maintenance facility. He will share tips and insights about how his business recovered and discuss how a continuity plan can fit any business.

As a Level III Certified Business Advisor with an agri-business and banking background, Butler will talk about the elements of a business continuity plan.

Orosco will discuss a tool for risk assessment for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. The READY Profile allows for the creation of an emergency profile containing critical facility information to help speed up response time after a damaging event.

The UHV SBDC offers assistance on starting, growing and financing a business; contracting opportunities; and recovering from disaster. It also helps new businesses start and existing businesses expand through a combination of consulting and training in areas like market identification, raising capital and developing a business plan. Most of its services are free to area small business owners. The center serves Aransas, Bee, Calhoun, DeWitt, Gonzales, Goliad, Jackson, Karnes, Lavaca, Refugio and Victoria counties.

To register for the seminar, call 361-485-4485, email or visit

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro