Six Small Business Superheroes from Superstorm Sandy

Sandy made headlines this week by upending our routines, causing damage, power outages and other disastrous news.  However, in the midst of the bad news, we’ve noticed a few uplifting stories that epitomize the determination of the small business owner.

Here’s a look at six small business superheroes during Superstorm Sandy:

1. Storm reigns pizza.   New York is the city that never sleeps.  That’s especially true for a pizza shop during the hurricane.  The staff at Uncle Paul’s Pizza embarked on a 30 hour pizza making party and cooked up 1,000 pizzas while Hurricane Sandy drenched the city.  Fox’s small business reporter Kate Rodgers scooped this story with a headline that couldn’t summarize the story better: One Hurricane, Five Workers and 1,000 Pizzas.

2. Emergency BBQ.  Jake’s Bar-B-Que took an order at 10:59 to help feed lunch to 300 emergency personnel aiding with the recovery efforts.  With just two-thirds his normal staff, he emptied the fridge to serve those people.  We were was struck by his comments that his business’ efforts were a “public service” and how hard his staff is working to provide sustenance to emergency workers quickly and allow them to return to work.  The Wall Street Journal provides the details in this round up: Small-Business Owners Look to Return to Work After Sandy.

3. A 365 Day Open Door Policy.  Sheri Kern, co-owner of Big Nick’s Burger & Pizza Joint told the Huffington Post that her restaurant remained open during Sandy because the place never closes.  She literally doesn’t have a key to the front door.  Big Nick’s proved to be a place to grab a bite, avoid cabin fever and it drew a crowd.  However, Kern said she didn’t think the restaurant would make much of a profit by remaining open because of the costs associated with transporting her employees to work; full post:  NYC Small Businesses Open After Sandy.

4. No Mad Hatter Maker.  Marcus Malchijah, a Brooklyn-based Hatmaker, has a roster of famous clients and ability to produce up to 24 hats a day, which can sell for between $40 and $500 each.  Marcus told BloombergBusinessweek that given the choice between waiting out the storm in his one-bedroom apartment and making more hats in his store a few blocks away, he’d prefer the latter. Here’s the story: Hurricane Sandy Doesn’t Hamper This Brooklyn Hatter.

5.  Save the lobster!  In a bit of a twist on this theme, one small business turned to its customers for help. CNBC reported that Brooklyn’s Red Hook Lobster Pound appealed for help on Twitter to save $65,000 in lobster meat inventory.  CNBC said co-owner Susan Povich sent out a tweet pleading for freezer space to save the lobster.  At this moment it is unclear how much was saved – but by all indications such as this blog post and this tweet – the restaurant’s request for help did not go unanswered.  We did inquire, but have not heard back yet.  It’s understandable too since we’re quite sure they are busy cleaning up and wish them well.

6. Disaster Resources for Small Business.  The Washington Post’s @OnSmallBiz has compiled a list of resources for small business owners seeking to recover from the Sandy’s wreckage.  Links to FEMA, the Red Cross and the SBA’s office of disaster relief are included in this article: Small business slammed by Sandy? Here’s where to find help.

Photo credit:  Flickr

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