Dear Community Members,
This is a reminder to those affected by the South Napa Earthquake that the deadline to apply for assistance from the federal government is December 29, 2014.
The good news: many have already applied and received support. As of Sunday, we estimate that:
- Nearly 2,500 Napa County households have received FEMA grants totaling about $7 million
- More than 425 households have received low-interest SBA loans totaling about $16 million
- 35 businesses have received SBA loans totaling about $3 million.
How you can help: in the aftermath of a federally declared disaster, SBA is the primary source of funding for homeowners and businesses--and hundreds of your friends and neighbors who were referred to SBA have not yet completed their applications. As of Sunday, we estimate that:
- Only 27% of those referred to SBA have completed and returned an application
- This return rate is far below SBA's national average of 41%
- Therefore, as many as 500 applications which should be in-process have not yet been returned.
In the days ahead, I hope you'll share this email with the people in your Napa Valley networks; with your clients and friends and associates; with fellow parents from school; with members of your faith community or service club; with neighbors and colleagues.
I hope you'll encourage the people you know to register with FEMA, if they haven't done so already, and complete their SBA loan applications, if they elected to stop mid-stream. (Please see links, below, to apply.)
As time passes and nature has her way, small problems hidden from plain view--in roofs and attics; in chimneys and foundations--can turn into big safety issues, and even bigger financial challenges, for local residents. Completing an SBA loan application doesn't obligate people to take on a loan, if one is approved. But it does give them more options, and very often a better understanding of any needed repairs (both SBA and FEMA send professionals to inspect homes and businesses, at no cost).
Moreover, to be eligible for a grant from the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, which was created with a $10 million lead gift from Napa Valley Vintners following the August 24 South Napa Earthquake, business owners and homeowners will need to demonstrate that they have first applied for federal aid, if they are eligible to do so, and share completed federal application materials with our nonprofit partners. (Please see links, below, to apply.)
Thank you in advance for any help you might offer in sharing this information with others.
At this time of year, many of us are accustomed to gazing hopefully, rather than fearfully, at our chimneys. My wish for the whole community is that people will soon step forward to apply for assistance, wherever feasible, so future holidays can be celebrated safely and with more financial security.
Terence P. Mulligan