On June 1, 2017, the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation launched the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Bookstores pilot program. The program, created in response to recurring requests and the results of Binc’s 2016 bookseller survey, aims to keep bookstore staff employed by helping a store return to normal business operations quickly in the wake of a disaster.
The Disaster Recovery Assistance for Bookstores program is intended to help the store make repairs, replace inventory, and pay utility bills and other related expenses. Bookstore owners may apply to Binc for assistance with expenses that are not the responsibility of the landlord and not covered by insurance. The assistance grant will typically cover the difference between what the store’s insurance pays and the demonstrated financial need to reopen the bookstore.
According to Binc, the organization is dedicated to keeping bookstores open so they can continue to serve their communities, whether the disaster is widespread — such as a hurricane, flood, wildfire, or tornado — or smaller in scale, like a building fire or a plumbing-related flood.
“Binc reached out to us after being flooded by tropical storm Sandy. They helped our employees and gave us the strength to recover,” said Annie Philbrick, the owner of Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut, and Savoy Bookshop & Café in Westerly, Rhode Island.
“Helping bookstores through a disaster is a natural extension of the bookseller safety net,” said Binc Executive Director Pamela French. “While I hope this program is not needed, it puts in place a way to help a store reopen after a disaster.”
Since its founding in 1996, Binc has provided more than $6 million in scholarships and in financial assistance to bookstore employees who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship or emergency circumstances. Booksellers can contact Binc at (866) 733-9064 or firstname.lastname@example.org.