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Small businesses prepare for natural disasters

Sohr Performance and Nutrition organic smoothies have seen a reduction in ingredients due to wildfire season. 

EUGENE, Ore. - The active wildfire season has affected more than just those who have had to evacuate their homes.

Some local businesses may feel the effects of wildfires around the state, even if they aren't located close to the flames.

Joey Jaraczewski, a relatively new small business owner, says that he has faced problems he never prepared for this summer.

Jaraczewski has owned Sohr Performance and Nutrition for just three months, and he relies heavily on the state's natural resources to make his products.

While wildfires wreaked havoc throughout the state of Oregon this summer, Jaraczewski's business took a hit.

"I think this conversation is revealing it at least took my organization as a blindside," said Jaraczewski. "Didn't expect the wildfires to affect us in a business sense."

Many of the ingredients that Sohr uses in their organic smoothies have been affected by the fires. Locally grown hazelnuts were destroyed by fire, and shipments of hemp were also delayed repeatedly, costing the business a lot of money.

"I always think, 'Well I was affected by increased smoke in the air, it's a health risk.' But it actually did affect our bottom line," said Jaraczewski.

Sohr Performance and Nutrition isn't the only business affected by the wildfires, either.

Because of this, the Lane Small Business Development Center wants to help prepare other small businesses for the next disaster that could affect their bottom line.

The SBDC creates a plan for small business owners like Jaraczewski minimize losses when natural disasters happen.

In the mean time, Jaraczewski says that he is going to take this summer as a learning experience, and he prepares to adjust his operations for the next wildfire season.

For more information on SBDC, you can visit www.laneSBDC.com, or find their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LaneSBDC.

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