In the wake of the havoc wrought by Hurricane Harvey last week, manufacturers and distributors are beginning to recover and are pitching in to help retailers and others affected by the Category 4 storm and torrential downpour that battered the Texas Coast and parts of Louisiana.
JDS Industries announced Tuesday that its Houston-based warehouse opened its doors to resume operations. “With the continuing effects of Hurricane Harvey, shipping delays will be a possibility,” says JDS CEO and President Scott Sletten. “We wish the best for everyone affected by this historic storm and hope all of our customers affected will be able to resume operations soon.”
While the JDS Houston warehouse was closed as the company waited out the storm, JDS COO Mike May explains how JDS continued to ship to its Houston customers from its Dallas facility. “We expect that (Harvey) has and will impact several of our customers. The JDS philosophy is to do everything we can to help our customers through this difficult time,” May says. “Our hearts go out to all affected by this terrible event.”
Epilog and BOFA distributor Engraving Concepts is continuing to check in with its customers and offering a hand to any retailers in need. With its headquarters in Arlington and a Houston office as well, the company sent out a request to its customers to complete a “Harvey Check-In.”
“For our customers who are in the greater Houston area, Corpus Christi area, eastern Louisiana, and other affected areas: when you have a minute, please check in with us. We are keeping a list of folks in our industry who can help you in the event that your equipment is down for an appreciable amount of time,” says Engraving Concepts General Manager Jeanette Brewer-Richardson. “Most importantly, we hope you and your family are safe, but we also want to know how we can help. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.”
Engraving Concepts is also soliciting the assistance of other area retailers who may not have been affected by Harvey. After hearing from many customers in Houston who have not been able to reach their businesses to assess damage, the company is overwhelmed by the number of requests.
“Of course, we’ve told all of them that we’ll help in any way we possibly can, but I’d also like to provide them with a couple of other resources should their equipment be inoperative,” Brewer-Richardson explains. “We’ll certainly make our demo equipment available to them, but the sheer numbers of those affected will likely require help from our entire community. If you’re local and your equipment is up and running or you’d be willing to work with our customers long-distance, please let me know.”
Coastal Business Supplies is also requesting its customers join the company in giving back to those affected by the historic storm. Coastal pledges to contribute 10 percent of the net proceeds made from all online orders placed through September 5 to JJ Watt’s Houston Flood Relief Fund. The growing fund, organized by the Houston Texans football player, will provide financial assistance to those displaced by the flooding.
“Coastal has also been the victim of flood waters-during the St. Louis flood of 1993, we lost everything and had no insurance,” says Coastal Director of Operations Clay Pickering. “We experienced the rebuilding process and know first-hand the physical and emotional requirements of starting over. With the water level rising over the height of our front door, we were amazed by the amount of helping hands that came to our rescue. Without them, we wouldn’t be in business today.”
Despite the geographical distance between Houston and Coastal’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, the company is determined to help make a difference and spread positivity any way it can.
“Although we will not physically be there to help with the Hurricane Harvey cleanup, we will gladly show our support with a financial contribution,” says Pickering. “We know it’s our duty to extend our hand now, and we are thrilled to be in a position to do so.”
This is an ongoing event. A&E will update this story with details from voices around the industry as we receive more information.
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