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East County News Service

A convenient online registration process is now available for La Mesa businesses damaged during civil unrest overnight on Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31 to receive money from the La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund.

The East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC) is supporting the effort initiated through the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce and La Mesa Chamber of Commerce. It will receive and manage the applications on its website.

“We had one single objective at this stage of this process: making registration and documentation as easy and quick as possible,” said Jo-Marie Diamond, President and CEO of the East County Economic Development Council.  

Businesses can register through an online form on the East County Economic Development Council website. Applicants able to complete their registration by Friday, June 26 and have it verified will be part of the Phase I distribution.

GoFundMe will transfer current funding to the Foundation on June 25. Distribution of a flat stipend amount to be determined to each verified business will begin the week of June 29. Three-quarters of the total amount raised will be distributed in Phase 1, with funds held back for later relief applications, expenses, and unanticipated needs. 

Remaining funds including additional donations received after June 26 will be distributed in Phase 2, with the intention of closing the fund by the end of July.

Businesses will be asked to upload photos of the damage, plus verification of their address and ownership via the online form. All qualified recipients will receive the same amount of money from the fund, depending on the total amount raised.

Patrick Howard,  Board Chair of the San Diego East County Chamber Foundation, explains, “We wanted to be sure first and foremost the distribution of funds was fair and equitable. We didn’t want to hire caseworkers and spend money unnecessarily on administration or coordination of benefits. We don’t want to become the SBA or FEMA. The fund is intended to be a lift for everyone in the affected group. It appears to be enough to cover insurance deductibles and maybe a little more for an immediate helping hand, while the owners explore their options including insurance if any.”

The La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund was created using a GoFundMe page by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help businesses damaged or destroyed in the aftermath of opportunistic violence and looting following peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations in La Mesa on May 30. The fund reached $50,000 in a single day, and $100,00 by the second day. The fund total has now reached more than $200,000. 

The La Mesa Disaster Recovery Fund is still accepting donations. Visit the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce website for the donation link


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