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New Beginning for Small Business Owner Displaced by Hurricane Katrina

Beryl Powell, a small business owner displaced by Hurricane Katrina and one of the many victims that struggle to deal with this overwhelming loss and regain a sense of normalcy, relaunches her business the Completely Virtual Group.

San Antonio, TX, January 23, 2008 --( Hurricane Katrina continues to take its toll on our nation. The devastation and loss coupled with the incredibly slow recovery in many areas, New Orleans in particular, has led to a bumper crop of mental and emotional disorders among hurricane victims. There are often very few resources available to those suffering from disorders brought on by post-traumatic distress. The majority of private practitioners have not returned to the affected areas and local mental health services have grinded to a near halt. This leaves most to struggle on their own with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic distress and thoughts of suicide. Beryl Powell, a small business owner displaced by Hurricane Katrina, is one of the many victims that struggle to deal with this overwhelming loss and regain a sense of normalcy.

Beryl Powell’s New Orleans-based virtual assistance business, Beryl Powell Virtual Assistance, was at the height of its success in August 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the city. Powell and her family were forced to flee their home to escape the subsequent flooding. They eventually settled in San Antonio, TX, where she was able to get her small business, now called Completely Virtual Group (, up and running relatively quickly. However, Powell discovered that her ability to function day-to-day was impaired – a growing problem for many of Hurricane Katrina’s victims.

“I tried to just pick up the pieces and get started again. Yet, there was still something missing from my life: joy. I fell into a perpetual state of sadness followed by serious depression. I operated my business while in a fog for more than a year,” Powell says. She coped with her own anxiety by focusing on helping other small business owners displaced by Hurricane Katrina to restart their businesses and by seeking out available mental health support services.

Powell is grateful for the support she received from local practitioners, family, friends and members of the virtual support services community. “The fog is just beginning to lift and I’ve been able to move forward with my life. I feel like I am starting my business all over again.” Powell revised her website, and business focus and declared herself “back in business” as of Monday, December 2007. Her business support firm, Completely Virtual Group (, helps other small business owners to start and successfully operate their businesses. She continues to help her clients grow their businesses, but now she enjoys her life and her work more than ever.

Completely Virtual Group, a business development firm, provides sound business advice via coaching and training sessions as well as online workshops focused on helping growth-oriented Independent Service Professionals and Solopreneurs start, operate, promote and grow a successful business that can sustain their dream lifestyle. Visit the Completely Virtual Group’s website at and download a free copy for the Small Business Operations Toolkit.


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