With temperatures dipping below freezing and precipitation in the forecast, Portland may experience snow and/or ice over the next few weeks. To successfully weather the unexpected, both your business and your district need to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively. Please share these tips and resources with your members!
1. Create a ‘weathering the unexpected’ reserve fund. Use these funds for increased online communication during the disruption (social media boosts, graphic design, etc), staff salaries, revenue loss and post-disruption promotions and advertising. A little extra will help you ride out slow times.
2. Make sure customers can get to your business online when they can’t get there physically. Incentivize sales via online shopping, disruption deals/discounts and/or free post-disruption in-store pick-up (or delivery!). If you don’t sell products, get creative and offer gift certificates, online appointment scheduling or remote phone consultations to generate disruption revenue online. No website? Utilize social media to interact with customers in real time, answer questions, take orders and coordinate product holds and deliveries.
Have the following equipment and supplies on hand at your business:
1. Rock Salt/Ice Melt
2. Snow Shovel
4. Customer Comfort (warm drinks, coat rack, space heaters, etc)
Have the following policies and procedures on hand at your business and home:
1. Sidewalk Maintenance Plan
2. ‘Weathering the Unexpected’ Reserve Fund
3. Business Interruption Insurance
4. Employee/Vendor Contact List
5. Emergency Contact List (property owner, insurance, City Bureaus, utilities)
6. Customer/Marketing Contact List (email list, Venture Portland, business district)
7. Media Contact List
8. Passwords (website, email, social media, bank account)
9. Utility shut off (water, gas, sprinkler system, etc)
If Severe Weather Strikes Promote, Promote, Promote
1. Giving your employees a paid day off? Tell the world and get credit for doing good work! Shoveled your sidewalk and open for business? Get creative by taking photos of your products and/or staff making the most of a snowy situation. Share with your customers, business association, City bureaus and Venture Portland.
2. Motivate shoppers to venture out with a discount or giveaway. Collaborate with your business association to create a district-wide promotion for expanded reach. Closed for a snow day? The internet is always open for businesses. Even if you don’t have inventory online, discounted gift cards are a great way to generate revenue during slow times.
3. Various media outlets including The Oregonian report on which local businesses are open during severe weather and which are closed. Send your media list (no media list? Venture Portland can help!) a press release that includes your hours of operation and any special promotions you are running and reach shoppers with time to kill, money to spend and limited options. General inquiries and news releases for the newsroom can go to email@example.com or 503-221-8100.
Important Contact Info
1. Major service disruptions in the Portland-Vancouver metro area – publicalerts.org
2. Portland Police Bureau
3. Portland Bureau of Transportation
4. Winter Shelter Information
2-1-1 or text “pdxshelter” to 898211
5. Abandoned Vehicle Tow Line
To have abandoned vehicles towed from public property (sidewalk, street, etc.)
6. Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
Planning, grants and response for disaster preparation and relief
503.823.4375, PBEMinfo@portlandoregon.gov, portlandoregon.gov/pbem
7. Neighborhood Emergency Response Team
Portland residents trained to provide emergency disaster assistance