Bank reaches out to Fallbrookians
Last updated 11/8/2007 at Noon
When disaster struck Fallbrook two weeks ago in the form of the Rice Canyon Fire, the founders of Pacific Coast National Bank, Michael Hahn and Rick Grinyer, immediately moved into action to provide assistance to a community that was vital in the bank’s startup. On Monday, November 5, they opened up a temporary branch office in a portable building at the corner of South Mission Road and Rockycrest Road.
“Over one-third of Pacific Coast National Bank’s stockholders are Fallbrook residents or individuals they know,” Grinyer said. “We have very strong ties to the Fallbrook community.” Pacific Coast opened in San Clemente in 2005 and later added a branch office in Encinitas.
Because of these ties, bank management wanted their seasoned experts on the scene to help local residents find their way through the financial challenges that can follow an event of this magnitude.
“We are able to have a temporary branch here for 60 days,” Grinyer said. “We are doing this in response to the fire in order to assist people in any way we can.”
The temporary office will function as a full-service branch, offering a wide variety of loan opportunities and banking options. In addition, Grinyer said, they are pleased to have the opportunity to service their Fallbrook customers closer to home.
One of the experts Pacific Coast has brought to Fallbrook in the aftermath of the disaster is Teri Hudson, senior vice president and Small Business Association (SBA) loan administrator.
Hudson, with more than 30 years’ experience in SBA matters, is volunteering her expertise to help Fallbrook residents and business owners with SBA loan paperwork for businesses and homeowners as well as nonprofit organizations. The bank does not get any financial benefit from that service, but the Pacific Coast team says people need the help of experts like Hudson to adequately recover their losses.
Hudson explained that businesses may have experienced income loss, property loss and more and that homeowners may have lost not only real property but personal property as well.
“In a disaster, a small business owner has many things to deal with,” Hudson said. “By us being here, we can be one source of relief for them. I can help them if they are uninsured or find they are underinsured.”
The SBA’s disaster recovery loan rates are fixed and vary, depending on the situation, from 2.937 percent to eight percent at this time.
“The very first thing people need to do is to pick up the [SBA] application form at the Local Assistance Center [Fallbrook Community Center] first,” Hudson said. With that in hand, the victim can come to Hudson for guidance in how to properly fill out the necessary paperwork.
“I can help people with options that are helpful in times like these,” Hudson said. “I didn’t have to evacuate during the fires and it feels good to help those who were affected.”
Longtime Fallbrook resident and community volunteer Sue Johnson, with 20 years’ experience in the banking industry, is also part of the Pacific Coast team.
“It’s important for the bank to support businesses in this community,” Johnson said. “Michael [Hahn] and I both have longtime ties to this community. We felt the impact [of the fire] like others here. It was a key decision to get the bank here and we did it fast!”
“Supporting Fallbrook’s business community is absolutely vital,” she noted.
For those who face the challenge of rebuilding a home or other building lost in the fire, Laurie Mallon, Pacific Coast’s construction loan expert, is on hand to help.
“We can give people some real direction in the rebuilding process; I can help people get started and help them all the way through to the finish,” Mallon said.
Mallon, who assisted a number of victims from the Cedar Fire in Julian, explained that homeowners naturally go through a grieving process after losing their home but that there can be things to look forward to as new plans are made.
“Sometimes rebuilding can give an individual or family an opportunity to change things that they didn’t like about their home before,” Mallon said. “As we help them make new plans, it’s a way to move toward something positive in the future.”
Mallon also does fund control on projects she helps clients with so that all expenditures/disbursements during the construction process are well documented and contractors are kept accountable.
The recovery process can all start with a conversation, Mallon said. “I welcome people to come in and talk with me. I can give them some options they might really like.”
For Grinyer, showing compassion for what people are going through in this community means going the extra mile to provide a support system.
“This is an opportunity for the bank to give back,” he said. “People’s lives have been interrupted; businesses have been shut down… These business owners and homeowners have had to carry a burden. We are here to help alleviate the struggle.”
Pacific Coast National Bank’s temporary Fallbrook office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To reach the office, call (toll-free) (866) 228-8047.