Last week, the Dover Selectboard approved a contract with BDCC to hire an emergency business assistance coordinator (EBAC) to help local businesses wade through the financial aid and permitting processes related to disaster recovery. At an earlier meeting, Dover approved $20,000 to fund the position.
Mullen, who is a certified financial planner and registered investment advisor with his own business in Wilmington, says he was able to accept the position when the BDCC agreed to split it between two people. “I gave it a lot of thought before I stepped up, and I told the BDCC I would be running my own business and couldn’t devote full time to the job,” Mullen says. “Gretchen and I had both applied for the position, and the BDCC suggested splitting the position.”
Havreluk also has her own financial business, Ingram & May Money Management, which she started last spring. She also manages NetWork Now in Brattleboro, a network for small businesses.
Havreluk and Mullen started their work with Dover and Wilmington businesses on Monday, beginning the work of creating a list of impacted businesses and visiting with each business owner to assess their needs. “We’ve already developed a list, and we’re creating a questionnaire, which will allow us to see where there’s a commonality of needs,” Mullen says.
“We need to know if people have already got money from insurance, what they’ve already applied for, whether they’ve had any difficulties getting unemployment benefits, or whether they still have a need for volunteers,” Havreluk says. “Then we can figure out the best way to give them support.”
Mullen and Havreluk will also continue to look for new funding opportunities, including other government funding and grants from charitable foundations. “Most of the resources that are out there have already emerged,” Havreluk says. “There are quite a few of them out there, but we’re still digging for other resources.”
The EBAC team is sponsoring an informational session with representatives of the Small Business Administration at the Twin Valley High School at 6 pm on Wednesday, October 12.
In the meantime, Mullen and Havreluk encourage business owners to call them with any questions or requests. Contact Mullen at (802) 464-8998, or Havreluk at (802) 368-7059. “We hope to be in touch with every business within a week, but if anyone wants to call, Gretchen or I would be happy to talk to them.”