Help Offered for Businesses Affected by Thomas Fire

The Small Business Development Center, SMDC, for Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties has put together a team of advisers that is available to South Coast companies that need help in the wake of the ongoing Thomas fire, which has burned more than 270,000 acres. 

SBDC’s Alondra Gaytan can be reached at (805) 409-9159. She’s ready to take calls, is bilingual, and will get the information to business ensure they get a consultant to match each firm’s needs and concerns. 

The Santa Barbara Region Chamber of Commerce also has advice to offer on insurance policies for businesses affected by what could be the worst wildfire in state history. 

Most business interruption insurance policies go with individual incidents. Each day of ash fall might be considered an individual interruption, prompting a deductible to be triggered each time. 

Most business interruption policies require that either physical damage be done to the business, or that civil authorities required closure of businesses.  

For businesses that closed because of falling ash, it is suggested that the company file a claim with information about the poor air quality and that it closed stores or curtailed open times because of health concerns for employees. Claims can’t be filed based on a lack of customers. 

“In the end, the only way you’ll know if the claim will be paid is if you file it – so take the time to do that now,” chamber officials said. 

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