2017 Hurricane Recovery: Get information about disaster assistance, or find out how you can help.

Small Business Owner Re-starts Business After Receiving Disaster Loan Assistance

Jacob Oestriecher, owner of J & W Wood Specialist, Inc., Stapleton, Alabama, manufactures wood construction stakes. “At the time the hurricanes hit, I had 19 customers, of which 18 were located on either the Gulf Coast or New Orleans. The hurricane wiped them all out.” The damage my company sustained was not physical damage to the firm itself, but was economic damage.”

His customer base was eliminated and he had no sales. He had a total of four employees. The business was closed for six weeks after the hurricane. From the time the hurricane hit to the time he re-started the business, they worked with a gentleman about ten miles north of Stapleton that is in the modular home building business. Mr. Oestriecher says, “I had made a deal with him, that when my shop was slow, that my employees and I could go to work for him on a day-to-day basis.”

The company had been in business for five years last September. Everyone told him that he couldn’t make it because he didn’t have a college education. He said, “I was going to prove them wrong.” That is what motivated him to both start my business and re-start my business after the hurricane.

The loan received was an economic injury disaster loan for $36,600. Oestriecher said “The process was very simple. My wife did all of the leg work. We went to the Bayou La Batre office only twice. I would have completed the paperwork the first time I visited the SBA office, but I didn’t know what I needed for the application. Applying for the loan was a one and a half week - process. Getting the loan was another 2 weeks.” If he had not received the SBA loan, Oestriecher says, “I would not be in business and could not have re-started the business. I would do it (apply for the SBA loan) again in a heartbeat, if needed.”