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Insurance key to business continuity after disaster

When torrential rain fell on Port Augusta in September 2022, flooding Mark and Jackie Hanlon’s business, the sports specialist retail store was forced to close for eight days.

The insurance claim process was annoying, and it took 12 months to restore business back to pre-flood levels.

Thankfully the Hanlons had a long-time great relationship with a local insurance broker to guide them.

``They couldn't have helped us enough,’’ Mark says. ``That's built on a relationship of trust: if you do need them from time to time, you want to be able to get the results that get your business open as quick as you possibly can.’’

If they hadn’t been vigilant in keeping up their business insurance beforehand, their situation could have been dire.

Having appropriate business insurance is one of the most important tools every business owner needs. It’s one that can be sourced and maintained by all small businesses.

Any small business owner, operator and employee can learn how through the free Business Community Resilience (BCR) Toolkit: Upper Spencer Gulf program.

Created by Resilient Ready, a social enterprise committed to building resilience in all businesses, the BCR Toolkit program helps business prepare, connect and build resilience.

Click HERE to register.

Resilient Ready CEO and BCR Toolkit: Upper Spencer Gulf creator Renae Hanvin says: ``Having the right level of insurance is the difference between survival and demise for your business when disaster strikes.

``Living in this new era of compound disasters, the likelihood of that happening is probable rather than possible, so your insurance premium is an investment in your future.’’

The Hanlons, who have been in business 38 years, own four businesses (Intersport, Intersport Port Pirie, Intersport Port Augusta and Sole Lifestyle).

Paying regular attention to insurance and having a good relationship with their local broker have been key to their success and endurance.

``It makes it so much easier to get the lowest premiums and get a better, quicker outcome if we need to use the insurance,’’ Mark says.

``We don't take it for granted though.’’

Every 12 months, the couple reassess their insurance prices and policies with their broker.

At least every two years, they also compare them with another insurance company.

While costly, ``one of the uglier parts of business’’ is crucial to any business, Mark says.

``You get peace of mind knowing that if something does go wrong, you're going to be okay and can get the business back up and running as fast as you possibly can.’’

Co-designed with a local advisory group, the BCR Toolkit: Upper Spencer Gulf program is open to all small businesses within the City of Whyalla, City of Port Augusta and Port Pirie Regional Council.

Participating small businesses create a personalised business resilience toolkit, hear disaster stories of other small businesspeople in their community and build regional connections with other locals in small business experiencing similar challenges.

Launched in the Upper Spencer Gulf in July, the first 10 modules are already available.

The first two batches included the 80/20 Rule, 3 Revenue Streams, Linchpin, Essential Operations and That Word …Risk; and Financial Hardship, Next Door Saviour, Supply Chains, People Communication and Rainy-Day Fund.

The last cache will be released daily between September 11 and 18, including Getting the Right Insurance, Can’t Keep Going, Cybersecurity, Essential Information and Capability Register.

An online workshop will be held on September 28 (register here for 9.30am or 4pm), followed by a community workshop in Port Pirie on October 19 (register here).

The BCR Toolkit: Upper Spencer Gulf project is a collaboration between certified social enterprise Resilient Ready, the Department for Industry, Innovation and Science and the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia.

Click HERE to register.

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