A new study shows about 75% of the nearly 600 Cedar Rapids’ businesses affected by last year’s flooding have reopened. The Director of the Kirkwood Community College Small Business Development Center, Al Beach, says the numbers are encouraging — but he says many businesses are saddled with debt and are not back to they way they were before the flood.
Beach says Cedar Rapids is about 15% ahead of the national average when compared to other cities that recovered from disasters.
"We’re encouraged that we beat the national average when it comes to the number that are able to open and stay open but that does not mean that they’re having an easy time of it," Beach says, "we just can’t stress too much that our downtown businesses that were flooded are still continuing to hurt."
Beach says recovering will take several more years. Beach says: "We are not looking at this as something in our rearview mirror but rather is still ahead of us. We have several years yet of a constricted economy and a debt burden on our small businesses here that’s going to require more aid and more hand holding by the entities like us that provide counseling."
Beach says the report shows more than 50 businesses have moved out of the city or will not reopen.