From the Ojai Chamber of Commerce.
From the Ojai Chamber of Commerce.
The Economic Context: It will be months before we have a reliable economic impact, though here’s some narrow, but considerable context to consider:
- Retail alone in Ventura County employs some 39,000 workers, or 12% of the region’s jobs, and represents more than 6% of our total regional economy.
- Other Services represents another 10,000 jobs.
- For the impacted west county communities of Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula and Fillmore, the fire’s impacts may reverberate to more than 10,000 jobs in just these two sectors alone.
- In the Ojai Valley, the leisure and hospitality sector is at a standstill, impacting some 1,300 jobs and 30% of the Valley’s economy.
Most immediately, we’re advising impacted businesses to do four things:
- For business technical assistance, including access to capital, contact our Small Business Development Center, 805-409-9159,firstname.lastname@example.org. We have professional, no cost business advising services immediately available. We will also be a point of contact for information and referral for other Small Business Administration and FEMA assistance for business as it becomes available. We’ve added a link to our website, http://edc-vc.com/, for direct client registration for services and links to other resources. We’ll be adding to this regularly as additional state and federal resources become available.
- Business Insurance: If you’ve had any interruption in service or lost sales, immediately inform your insurance agent and determine whether you have any coverage. You may or may not be covered, but for accessing any future disaster assistance, it may be critical that you’ve made and exhausted any insurance claims. If you have smoke/fire damage to your home or business, save your dirty air filters and used vacuum bags to use for confirmation of the impact of smoke and fire on your home and/or business.
- Unemployment: If you-as a self-employed person-or any of your
employees has lost work, immediately file or advise your workers to file for unemployment insurance. Be sure to indicate the first date of lost work and clearly state that the fire is the cause for the loss. See attached for information on how or where to file for unemployment insurance.
- Register for information at http://venturacountyrecovers.org/. Also, for access to a comprehensive set of services and information, we recommend you check in at the Local Assistance Center, in Ventura at the Poinsettia Pavilion, 3451 Foothill Road, Monday through Saturday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Sunday, 9:00 to 4:00. There will also be a satellite center open in Ojai, starting Monday, at 401 South Ventura Street, 8:00 to 5:00. We will have Small Business Development Center representatives at these sites on a rotating basis.
More detail to come on State and Federal resources: See the attached Business Recovery Resources document from CalOES and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. This is only a preliminary summary of resources, pending additional regional assessment by FEMA and the US Small Business Administration. We anticipate a broader menu of resources will soon be available, but it’s dependent first on the assessment, final declaration and direction to SBA, which is not yet completed by the federal agencies. Please check with us regularly and we’ll post updates as they become available. Meanwhile the guide provides contact detail and information on a broad set of issues.
- Show new photos of open businesses, neighborhoods, and parks.
- Include the dates the photos were taken in the caption so that people can see what we look like now.
- Don’t post photos of burned areas or smoke. The media is already covering this part of the story.
- Post about success stories and community efforts from local hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses.
- Post about holiday events or fundraisers that are happening.
- Be safe, be strong, have faith and care for those around you who are in need.