User-Friendly Tool Launched to Help Economies Recover after Disasters

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) today launched “Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency” a guide to help economies recover after a disaster. Available for free download atwww.RestoreYourEconomy.org, the toolkit includes practical resources, proven how-to’s, real world case examples, checklists and best practices to implement recovery programs following any type of disaster and to make preparations for future events. As part of the launch, the toolkit will be distributed to over 100 attendees today at a crisis preparedness workshop for industry and business in Houston, TX.

Developed by IEDC with nationwide input and funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, the Toolkit is designed to benefit a wide range of public and private sector officials working with businesses and industries in the economic recovery process including economic development organizations (EDOs), Chambers of Commerce, business leaders, small business development centers (SBDC), community colleges and business schools, community development financing institutions (CDFIs), and other organizations that provide support to businesses.

“Out of our concern for too many communities across this country that are experiencing disasters, IEDC developed this toolkit to provide immediate help for disaster-impacted economies. We believe this will help jump-start local recovery efforts in a meaningful way,” said IEDC Board Chair Bill Sproull, who is also the President and CEO of the Richardson, Texas Chamber of Commerce. “This user-friendly guide captures the best work and tireless efforts of local officials and business leaders who work in the trenches to build their communities back in a stronger, more resilient way.”

Beyond property and infrastructure costs, disasters impact the health of the business community: According to the Small Business Association, as much as 25 percent of small businesses do not reopen after major disasters. “Leadership in Times of Crisis” provides strategies and tactics for community leaders to focus on for economic recovery and preserving jobs, incorporating useful information for convening private and public stakeholders to identify key economic recovery strategies, tips on how to navigate federal resources for response and recovery, and implementation of recovery initiatives.

The Toolkit’s 11 chapters cover:

• Disaster preparation for organizations, businesses and communities;
• Small business assistance;
• Business retention and expansion;
• Strategic planning for economic recovery;
• Economic impact studies;
• Economic diversification; and neighborhood redevelopment.
• Case examples including Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Sandy, tornadoes in Joplin, MO and Greensburg, KS, Cedar Rapids flooding, and the Northridge Earthquake;
• Checklists, forms, sample plans, and resource contacts.

About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is the world’s largest membership organization serving the economic development profession with more than 4,300 members and a network of 25,000 economic development professionals and allies. From public to private, rural to urban and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. They include local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. For more information visit www.iedconline.org.

About the Economic Development Administration (EDA)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments and accelerates long-term sustainable economic growth.