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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF FLORIDA FUNDS PROGRAM TO ASSIST BUSINESSES FOLLOWING HURRICANE ANDREW

 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Business students at Florida International University (FIU) are providing strategic, short- term emergency assistance to small businesses that were destroyed or heavily damaged by Hurricane Andrew, under a program funded by a grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF).
 "The recovery of south Florida depends in part on the survival of small businesses," says Jan Luytjes, a professor at FIU. "Many small businesses have received payment from insurance companies, but they're uncertain about what to do."
 BCBSF has contributed $25,000 to the South Dade Strategic Emergency Business Assistance Project, which pairs teams of three to four FIU students with local businesses that request help. "We want to help businesses get back on their feet," says Nick Stam, South Florida Region vice president of BCBSF. "We believe this program will provide the type of assistance that businesses need right now."
 The student teams collect and analyze data and develop strategic plans for each business based on the new realities of the South Dade County area. The strategic business plans may include recommendations to rebuild, relocate, downsize, or develop new marketing strategies.
 The students are supervised by FIU faculty members. A project director oversees the program and coordinates its recovery efforts with other agencies providing disaster relief. The goal of the program, which will run until April 8, 1993, is to provide assistance to up to 100 small businesses in South Florida.
 The South Dade Strategic Emergency Business Assistance project is sponsored by BCBSF and FIU in cooperation with the Beacon Council, the Florida Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Patrick McCabe of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, 904-791-6123~


CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida; Florida International
 University ST: Florida IN: INS SU:


AW-SS -- FL009 -- 2898 11~19~92 12:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 19, 1992
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