Los Angeles business owners can expect a letter early next week from Mayor Richard Riordan urging victims of the Northridge quake to apply for federal disaster aid before the Jan. 20 application deadline, the mayor's office said Wednesday.
Riordan representatives said the city plans to send 212,000 letters to businesses containing phone numbers and addresses of federal disaster agencies and city departments that can provide low-interest disaster loans and other assistance.
The letters were drafted after Riordan and city Controller Rick Tuttle questioned whether the Small Business Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency had done enough to help businesses recover from the quake.
The letters also include the city's new bilingual toll-free help line (1-800-CITY-AID) to answer questions about most available quake-relief programs.
Riordan also issued a warning Wednesday that the city's free quake-debris removal program will end Jan. 17. He urged residents with debris to call the city for a pickup by Dec. 30. The number is 1-800-498-2489.