Wednesday's Harvey coverage: Relief pours in, stores reopen | Crain's Houston

Wednesday's Harvey coverage: Relief pours in, stores reopen

Members of the New York Air National Guard prepare for an airlift to Houston. | Photo courtesy of the 106th Rescue Wing

By Wednesday, relief was coming from all corners for Houston—and those businesses that could were beginning to reopen those doors.

IRS provides 401(k) tax relief due to Hurricane Harvey
The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday announced it would provide relief to taxpayers adversely impacted by Hurricane Harvey by allowing use of 401(k) assets to address hardships caused by the storm and easing any associated tax rules. Distributions in the form of a loan or in the event of a hardship such as an unforeseeable emergency provide ways for retirement savers to tap assets they've accumulated in 401(k) plans, but typically come with specific rules, such as verification procedures. 

What next? Houston dealers plan damage assessment
Fort Bend Kia, in the Houston suburb of Rosenberg, Texas, closed last Friday afternoon just hours ahead of Hurricane Harvey's slamming onto land and beginning its days-long run of destruction. Owner Virgil Skinner, the immediate past chairman of the Houston Automobile Dealers Association, said his small store suffered only minor damage. But he was well aware that many others didn't get off so lightly.

Group 1's Houston-area stores reopen
Dealerships in the Houston area began to reopen after Hurricane Harvey, led by all but two of Group 1 Automotive Inc.'s 28 stores there on Wednesday. Group 1 reopened 26 of its stores in the Houston area on Wednesday morning as the company begins to "pick up the pieces" in the storm's aftermath, said Pete DeLongchamps, vice president of manufacturer relations, financial services and public affairs.

Lenders offer assistance after Harvey
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, auto lenders are stepping up to help Gulf Coast customers affected by the storm. Informed by their experiences following Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago, captive lending arms including American Honda Financial Services, Ford Motor Credit, GM Financial, Hyundai Capital America and Toyota Financial Servicesare offering payment extensions, expanded phone and online payment options with no fees, and to redirect billing statements.

Toyota, distributor pledge $3 million for Harvey efforts
Toyota Motor North America and its regional distributor, Gulf States Toyota, are pledging over $3 million to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey through cash payments to relief organizations, donations of used vehicles for transporting aid and providing volunteers to help victims of the unfolding disaster.

OnStar helps local emergency groups respond to Harvey
As Harvey, the hurricane turned tropical storm, lingers above southeast Texas and Louisiana, local emergency responders remain overwhelmed with calls for help. To cope, they are asking General Motors subsidiary OnStar for assistance.

Birch helps neighbors and employees after storm
Materials firm Birch Plastics Inc. gave neighbors a place to stay after Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, and is assisting its own employees as well. Houston-based Birch reopened Aug. 29, but around 20 of the firm’s 27 employees were stranded at their homes, owner Rob Lang said.

Houston molder helping workers get back on their feet
Texas Injection Molding LLC was spared from major damage from Hurricane Harvey. But the Houston company’s employees haven’t all been so lucky, and that includes CEO Jeff Applegate. Applegate says about a dozen of the company’s 85 employees have been affected by the flooding in the aftermath of the storm.

August 30, 2017 - 9:23pm