Media contact:
Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO
707 964 7571

FORT BRAGG, Calif. – Oct. 18, 2018 – West Business Development Center (formerly West Company) announced today that it has received a grant of $50,000 from Wells Fargo to help small businesses in Mendocino and Lake Counties that are suffering from the impact of recent fires in the region. The funds will allow West Business Development Center to create a natural disaster preparedness toolkit for small businesses. The toolkit will include a workbook, videos and workshop curriculum designed to help get businesses back up and running after a disaster strikes.

Wells Fargo has provided grants totaling $325,000 to five Northern California nonprofits: 3CORE, Women’s Business Center at JEDI, Shasta Cascade SBDC, Superior California Economic Development and West Business Development Center. All of these nonprofits have agreed to work collaboratively to help fill gaps where needed, and there is no overlap in resources within this strategy. The nonprofits will provide services to small businesses throughout Colusa, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 40% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. “We learned a great deal about the importance of preparation and lack of adequate documentation from our rural business community after the recent fires,” states Mary Anne Petrillo, CEO of West Business Development Center. “With these funds we can develop easy to use tools using a variety of delivery methods so that every business will be prepared to rapidly restart after disaster strikes.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of local economies and communities,” said Thomas Sands, Northern California Region president of Wells Fargo. “This funding will help small businesses with immediate needs in the aftermath of the recent fires in Northern California. Additionally, resources will assist businesses to plan and prepare for recovery efforts in case of future natural disasters.”

About West Business Development Center

West Business Development Center (formerly West Company) is a nonprofit, organization with a focus on providing entrepreneurship education, financial literacy and digital capacity building for business owners throughout Mendocino and Lake County, CA. We serve our clients through no-cost one-on-one business consulting and customized workshops through grants from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) We provide advice and resources to startups, governments, and financial institutions to build programs that reduce poverty, and enable people to build thriving communities. West Center is host to the Mendocino Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and Mendocino Women’s Business Center (WBC).

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