The Gene Haas Foundation and Pacific Western Bank Donations Launch Loan Fund
The Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County recently received contributions from the Gene Haas Foundation and Pacific Western Bank to establish a loan fund in response to the Thomas fire and subsequent mudslides. The loan program is now helping businesses at a critical time as they feel the long-term strain of recovery.
“These funds are critical to businesses who struggle to keep afloat in the aftermath of disaster. Now is the time when they start to feel the impact of losses,” said Bruce Stenslie, EDC-VC CEO. “Initially, many businesses tapped their savings and got help from family to keep the doors open. Now many are realizing that they will need loans beyond what they anticipated and that recovery is a long haul.”
The Gene Haas Foundation quickly worked with EDC-VC to establish a $200,000 loan fund for disaster assistance lending to businesses that were affected by the disasters. The loan fund was then augmented with an additional $250,000 from Pacific Western Bank. The funds are benefiting under-capitalized and disadvantaged businesses impacted by the fire that may not qualify for commercial credit.
“The Gene Haas Foundation stepped up immediately to help these businesses impacted by the fires in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties,” Stenslie said. “We greatly appreciate Pacific Western Bank’s generosity in further strengthening our ability to provide capital to help small businesses who are rebuilding.”
The loan fund has helped with the initial demand for assistance and provides a significant contribution to the vitalilty of the local retail and service economy. “The EDC-VC is grateful for this loan capital for the short-term needs of businesses in recovery, and we continue to reach out to banks for additional capital to augment our other loan programs designed for assisting with longer-term recovery and the continuing capital needs of local firms,” Stenslie said.
“Although it will take some time to assess the full impacts of the fire, we do know that neither Santa Barbara nor Ventura County is well-positioned to absorb the impacts, with flat or negative recent GDP growth in the local economies and an increasing dependence on exactly the kinds of businesses and industry sectors most severely impacted by the disaster. Our goal is to provide a bridge and a boost in operating funds to give small businesses a chance to get back on their feet,” Stenslie said.
Businesses located in areas declared a disaster due to the Thomas Fire whose sales were impacted by the fires can submit loan applications by contacting Clare Briglio at 805-409-9159. Loans may be up to $30,000. Larger requests will be managed under separate review processes and credit considerations. Applications will be accepted through August 31, 2018.
As a matter of both business support and lending security, EDC-VC will provide borrowers with technical assistance advisors through its Small Business Development Centers who meet regularly with borrowers to provide comprehensive assistance, to monitor their progress and bolster their ability to repay the loans and remain in business.
Additional business disaster recovery services can be found online at http://edc-vc.com/disaster-recoveryservices/ or on the “Business Recovery” link on the home page of http://venturacountyrecovers.org/. For assistance, please contact EDC-VC SBDC Services Coordinator Alondra Gaytan at (805) 409-9159.
The SBDC is funded by the SBA and provides professional business assistance at no cost to businesses. Participating businesses are required to follow a well-defined scope of work and report their economic successes. These SBA milestones are defined as job creation, increase in sales, capital investment, job retention and business start-ups.
EDC-VC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Ventura County by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region. For more information about the Small Business Development Center and loan, manufacturing and international trade programs, contact Bruce Stenslie at 805-384-1800 ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.edc-vc.com.