NFIB, Small Business Owners Say Texas Must Act Quickly to Address Winter Storm Damage

Date: February 24, 2021

NFIB State Director Annie Spilman today commended Texas lawmakers for moving quickly to address issues related to last week’s deadly winter storm. She spoke in advance of tomorrow’s hearings in the House and Senate.

“These hearings are great first steps toward helping Texans recover from the storm and ensuring that nothing like this happens again,” Spilman said.

“Things were already bad for small businesses because of COVID-19, and the storm made things worse,” Spilman said. “Businesses that were operating at reduced capacity because of the pandemic couldn’t open at all. Some still don’t have lights or running water, and others are facing serious economic setbacks because of lost sales or damaged merchandise or supplies.”

Small business owners tell their stories

  • Robert Mayfield, an NFIB member and owner of Wally’s Burger Express in Austin, said, “We couldn’t get bread until Sunday as the bakery couldn’t bake without natural gas, and there was no power. It’s been rough, worse than the coronavirus in some ways because we couldn’t even open the drive-up or make deliveries.”
  • Brad Lauderdale, an NFIB member and rancher from San Antonio, said “Not having a reliable power grid has been devastating to my and neighboring farms and ranches. We have lost livestock because our electricity went out and our water froze and quit running.”
  • Mark Ruibal, an NFIB member and vice president of Ruibal’s Plants of Texas in Dallas, said, “We were hit pretty hard with the greenhouse heaters at the retail locations struggling to maintain enough heat. The far greater damage was the three-day complete power loss at both of our growing facilities. We’re estimating a bedding plant crop loss of around $350,000.”

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