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Small businesses urged to prepare for Guard call-ups

Friday, February 21, 2003

The U.S. Small Business Administration has urged small businesses to prepare for National Guard and Reserve call-ups.

"A call to duty of a key employee can be disruptive for a small business that is not prepared. It is essential that we at the SBA provide small business owners and employees involved in defending our country with the information they need to prepare for time away from the workplace," said SBA Administrator Hector Barreto.

Business owners with essential employees who are members of the Reserve or National Guard should have a plan in place to work through any potential disruption that may result from a broad call-up to active duty.

"At least three have already been called up and may be gone a year or two. We're a seasonal business and right now is our slow period. We've got some flexibility with our existing workforce to get the job done," Rick Whitlock, human resources manager for Metal Industries in Brazil, said.

The SBA provides tools to assemble and enact a plan designed to prevent or reduce the potential disruption caused a business by the sudden absence of a key player. The SBA and its resource partners offer managerial, technical and financial assistance, counseling and training to assist small businesses with any conceivable business-related issue, from how to market their products and services to what to do if called to active duty.

The SBA Office of Veterans Business Development created an new Web site where business owners with employees who are members of the National Guard and Reserve can find relevant information and a comprehensive plan.

On the Net: SBA Web site for Guard information:

http://www.sba.gov/reservists/



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