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Use loan clearinghouses to find small business owners

 

Business owner Sandy damage

Photo by Elizabeth D. Herman / The New York Times

Small businesses faced not only damaged inventory from flooding and power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy, writes Suzanne Sataline in her story for the New York Times.

With tight cash flows and customers outside the area, they also had to find ways to get employees to work, handle shipments and meet payroll, she writes.

Social media sites and word of mouth can generate leads for stories like these. But Suzanne also turned to people who act as clearinghouses to get loan information to small business owners, she says.

Suzanne Sataline

“They were able to put me in touch with people they’d worked with,” she says. “Everybody was willing to talk because they were so frustrated.”

Reporters can search for clearinghouses in their areas through the SBDC National Information Clearinghouse or with local agencies.

Reaching business owners who weren’t able to answer calls also posed challenges, she says. “I had to work creatively to get people’s alternative means of communication,” she says.

About the Author

Rosland Gammon is a former business journalist turned college instructor. Her newsroom experience includes reporting for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and reporting and editing at Bloomberg News. Gammon currently teaches communications at Alverno College in Milwaukee. Follow her daily posts. | E-mail: Rosland Gammon

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