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September 2005 President's Letter

Hurricane Katrina Donations Needed

by May Pon
of M. Butterfield-Brown & Assoc., Ltd.

Like many others in our community, across the country and around the world, we are astounded by the destruction created by Hurricane Katrina.

Both Gayle Watson, National President of NAWBO and Mary McRae, chair of the NAWBO Institute for Entrepreneurial Development (NAWBO IED) have taken a lead role in organizing the women business community to assist those affected by this tragedy.

Louisiana lost almost one-third of its economy due to Hurricane Katrina's devastation to the area. There are more than 370,937 women entrepreneurs in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, according to the Center for Women's Business Research. In New Orleans prior to Katrina, the Center for Women's Business Research reported more than 47,000 women-owned businesses, employing 100,000 and generating $11 billion in sales.

We cannot say enough about the efforts of the nonprofit community and the critical work they are doing to generate donations to those in need, pleas for housing, and volunteer alerts.

NAWBO and the NAWBO Institute of Entrepreneurial Development (IED) will be awarding grants to business owners impacted by the tragedy. NAWBO-IED will match the first $10,000 in contributions received. To donate, visit www.middleastwomen.org. A resource list is posted to help companies identify where those contributions can be most helpful.

Small Business California, has partnered with the National Small Business Association, California Association of Employers, SF Small Business Commission, Small Manufacturers Association of California, SF Small Business Network and the SF Small Business Advocates to establish the Small Business Disaster Relief Fund.

The Small Business Disaster Relief Fund will provide grants to enable small businesses to get back into business as soon as possible, provide Agap funding, which will pay for expenses not covered by insurance, and gap financing for SBA loans. Contributions are tax deductible, and matched 25 cents to the dollar. For more information, visit www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org.

We hope you will give generously. Any amount you give will make a difference and your contribution will help the small businesses owners and their families rebuild their lives and businesses.

May Pon, President 2005-2006
NAWBO-San Francisco Bay Area