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By James Rivera, SBA Official


Many communities are still feeling the effects of Superstorm Sandy, including power outages and flooding. The importance of listening to instructions and safety information from your local officials and FEMA cannot be understated.


Federal response teams are already providing assistance to affected communities. SBA is closely coordinating with our federal partners to share information in the immediate aftermath of the storm.


- For the latest on the Federal government's response to Sandy, you can read FEMA's blog or follow updates on Twitter.

- If you need emergency shelter, you can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or check your local media outlets. You should also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. Finally, you can download the FEMA smartphone app or text SHELTER and your Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA). Standard rates apply.

- If you are not in an affected area, please consider donating blood, because numerous blood drives have been canceled as a result of the storm. To schedule a blood donation or for more information about giving blood or platelets, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


SBA plays an important role in disaster recovery efforts for businesses and homeowners. As disaster assessments and declarations are made, various SBA disaster recovery loan programs become available to eligible applicants. We will continue to highlight these programs as communities turn to longer-term recovery efforts.


For more information about SBA's disaster assistance programs, visit or call our disaster assistance center at 1-800-659-2955.




In August 2012 Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) announced a strategic partnership with Pacific Community Ventures (PCV). This new partnership will allow both organizations to strengthen their ability to advocate for women business owners and work together to help their members experience successful business growth. Pacific Community Ventures builds responsible small businesses in lower income communities. It has three core initiatives : Business Advising, InSight, and the provision of small business capital. "Partnering with PCV will help WIPP strengthen its outreach to women business owners and increase its advocacy and educational programming", said WIP President Barbara Kasoff. Beth Sirull, Executive Director at PCV commented "WIPP represents another important development in PCV's commitment to partnering with best-in-class. Through this partnership we hope to continue to support and develop women business owners both on the ground and in the field. WIPP is a trusted partner in that effort." To read the full press release click here.

What Makes a Brand?

6:11 PM June 30, 2011

WIPP Membership Makes a Difference

By Mary Schnack


Branding is often thought of as the logo, corporate colors, and packaging of a product or company, but it extends to much more. It is everything that tells the public who you are (or who you wish to be) as a company.

Think of the brand as a person--who she is, what she believes, how she acts.  Think of the corporate image as the clothes, hairstyle and figure or how she looks. That's why YOU as a business owner are part of the creation of your company brand.

It doesn't matter what size your business is, how small, your revenue or how many employees, YOU are a brand.

What else is part of your brand? It's how firm your handshake, how thorough your follow through, how quickly you respond, how aggressive your sales pitch.....Do you speak with a smile? Do you have a powerful voice? All of these things say something about you and about your business.

It's organizations you join, media you advertise in, how you reward your employees, where you meet with clients....all of these things add to or detract from your brand.

Yes, the organizations you join says a lot and can be a significant part of your brand. Being a member of WIPP matters for your brand. I am proud of my WIPP membership and it is part of my brand. It shows that I'm involved with a top level business organization. It shows that I am astute about policy and matters that affect small business. It shows that I have more of a "worldly" vision rather than a tunnel vision of just my own business.

Join WIPP. Get involved. It's good for your brand.

SCAM WARNING: Elderly are Targets

4:58 PM August 17, 2009

I just finished a week's visit in Indiana with my Mom (88 years old) and I don't want anyone else to go through what she has been through the past 3+ months.  She told me on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 that she had been getting some threatening phone calls and seemed really scared.  Naturally, I jumped on a plane to be with her that night from Sarasota.  I can't remember ever hearing her sobbing like that on the phone -- AND, I never had a longer flight than the one that night.

She had been going through what police term as "psychological terrorism."  Starting on April 30, 2009, she has had an International Terrorist Organization (untraceable out of Nigeria) trying to extort money from her.  They threatened that unless she did what they said, they were going to put her in jail, kill her or worse.  So, she was terrified and followed their instructions - said nothing to anyone.  She finally became so frightened that she wouldn't answer the phone or the doorbell.  They told her that if she told anyone, they would definitely pay her and the person she told a visit.

Long story short, she lost over $18,000 by sending personal checks and Western Unions/Money Grams.  She was so embarrassed and scared that I am surprised she didn't have a 3rd stroke.   When we went to the bank and got records of all her checks and cash withdrawals, the bank tellers all told me that they thought her withdrawals were strange, but they didn't say anything to her or anyone else.  Even the people at the grocery store where she was going 2-3 times a day at the end to wire money thought it was strange, but they didn't say anything.

We have all the addresses, phone numbers and names of those who were involved -- TX, FL, Jamaica -- and nothing can be done.  Everything is fake.  They even sent her fake certified letters from the Texas Agency for the Protection of the Elderly.  I know it is fake because I called the phone number on the letter (from my cell phone) after researching it online and found it (convincingly) existed.  Then " they" started calling me on my cell -- until they figured out that I knew their game and wasn't going to play.  This is professional -- don't doubt it for a minute.

The police are getting 12-15 calls each week from the elderly about these kinds of threats, even in my little hometown.  AND, those are from the ones brave enough to report it.  If anyone you know could be vulnerable, please tell them to confess to SOMEONE -- their priest, their family, their friends -- SOMEONE.   Tell them their perpetrators are most likely out of the country, even though they can describe their homes to them exactly, thanks to Google Earth.  Many of the older generations don't realize how technology has changed and how much we can see and do anywhere in the world because of computers.

It is criminal (literally and figuratively) what people will do for money.  Please, please -- call your loved ones and warn them.  I talk to my Mom practically every day -- and the days I don't, she gets a message from me.  I never noticed the change in her demeanor even after daily conversations for the past 3+ months.  If they don't tell you,  you may never know.  Until it is too late.

Card Check Legislation Introduced

10:59 PM March 10, 2009

As women small business owners in a very troubled economy, we strongly oppose card check legislation which has the potential of imposing additional labor requirements on our businesses.   we are working night and day to keep our businesses afloat and our employees working - so we can ill-afford to have the additional challenge of worrying whether or not our employees are seeking to be unionized.

We work closely with our employees and do everything we can to keep them safe and producting.   WIPP, on behalf of our members, ask the Congress to accomodate small business concerns with respect to this legislation.   This is not the time to create uncertainty among small employers




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