Two counties in the Panhandle of Florida recently came together to promote business continuity initiatives to all the small businesses in a two county area. The brain child of the Pensacola Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, this initiative, which included public and private sector partners from Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, have entered a cooperative arrangement to the benefit of small businesses.
It was proposed that the COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters) in each county be the proponent agency working through whatever mechanism they already had in place for dealing with business continuity issues. In Escambia County BRACE (Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies) has a preparedness committee. In Santa Rosa County SAFER (Support Alliance For Emergency Readiness) has a business continuity committee. Both of these committees have the chambers of commerce in their respective counties as members, thus, each county has an overarching organizational structure to work within.
for a more comprehensive view to include an organizational chart since a picture is worth a thousand words.
This is a replicable program that does not require federal aid or input, it can be accomplished at the local level by locals.
Plans are in place to map critical business sectors in vulnerable parts of the counties, develop simple business continuity plan ideas to give to every business in the region free of charge, and provide free or low cost training too.