Jan 31, 2014

By Maya T. Prabhu, The Sun News (Myrtle Beach, S.C.)
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Jan. 29--Business owners will gather Friday at a half-day symposium designed to help them recover when their businesses are impacted by disaster.

The Area Business Disaster Recovery Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel, 2101 N. Oak St., Myrtle Beach.

"In the city's comprehensive plan, the tourism element calls for a disaster recovery plan for businesses," said Myrtle Beach senior planner Diane Moskow-McKenzie. "With the fire in Georgetown and the fire at Dead Dog Saloon, hurricanes, Superstorm Sandy ... These things are fresh in everyone's memories. Everybody needs to have a business plan in place about how to keep the business going if they have to close for a period of time."

The symposium will include presentations from Rob O'Brian, president of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce in Missouri, and Bonnie Canal, founder and managing partner of The Resiliency Institute, a consulting firm focused on community preparedness.

The symposium came from discussions held by the Myrtle Beach Tourism Committee, which is led by Gary Loftus.

A 2001 tornado seriously damaged the Bar Harbor Hotel in Myrtle Beach, which Loftus owned at the time, and he was left trying to figure out what was next for his businesses, Moskow-McKenzie said.

Many of the discussion topics during the symposium came from Loftus' experience after the tornado, including what needs to be known about insurance and what financial assistance is available.

"The biggest thing that we need to stress is that it doesn't need to be a hurricane," Moskow-McKenzie said. "It could be ice or snow that closes down a business for a few days. ... There needs to be a business continuity plan in place."

As of Monday afternoon, about 100 participants had registered for the event. Those interested can register at the door at 8 a.m. Friday.

For more information, call 918-1069.

Contact MAYA T. PRABHUat 444-1722 or follow her at

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