Steve Rainbow from Articulate Framing talks about his business and flooding.
Steve Rainbow from Articulate Framing talks about his business and flooding. Rob Williams

'We were out of business for months': Tears fall after rain

BEING hit twice by extreme weather events Steve Rainbow knows all too well how devastating it can be.

During the 2011 floods his framing business at Bellbowrie was inundated, and next month it will have been a year that his new store in the Ipswich CBD was also inundated with water thanks to a large hail storm.

He's now re-established Articulate Framing at Nolans Plaza across the road, but there were times he wanted to give up.

Mr Rainbow said before the storm hit, his Limestone St business was booming. It had expanded the shop from 170sqm to 250sqm but the extreme weather on December 18 last year left him with more than $40,000 worth of damages and put him out of business for a second time.

He recalls how the Ipswich City Council and community got behind him and the business and credits that support as the reason he's still open today.

There were a lot of tears when he inspected the damage that about one-and-a-half inches of water did to his business.

 

Articluate Framing closed for two months after a storm saw the store flood.
Articluate Framing closed for two months after a storm saw the store flood.

"We lost all our Christmas turnover and were out of business for two months," he said. While they were able to re-open he admitted there were times while he was setting up that he nearly walked away.

There were phone and NBN issues as well as insurance dramas but Mr Rainbow thought: "I've just gotta do this, I enjoy what I do".

So he kept up his sponsorships of local community groups as well as advertising and the community responded by helping the businesses grow.

"This time around I had insurance," he said.

He kept the claim minimal in the hopes of getting the cash fast. When he called his local broker in tears they helped and the money came through two weeks later.

"That's what put us back on our feet," he said.

Most of his customers were understanding, but Mr Rainbow still tried to replace damaged work that was lost.

"It cost a lot of money."

While the shop he's in now was under water in the 2011 flood he's confident the council will warn him early enough to shift all his stock if it floods again.

"If it happens again, I've got time to get out," he said.

Now the business is going strong again with a new full-time staff member and an investment in new equipment. They've also just signed on as a silver sponsor for the Jets.

Mr Rainbow's not doing anything different this year to prepare for this storm season, though he regularly backs up his data, instead he has faith the council will warn him early enough if the waters will rise high enough to flood the shop.

And in that case he has a plain to bail out.

He's also got a life ring out the front of the shop in case it gets really bad.