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Locals affected by the recent flooding who are seeking aid have a new resource.

Through a partnership with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Royal Bank is offering $5,000 grants to eligible residents and businesses affected by the flooding throughout communities in Central Wisconsin.

Homeowners and small businesses affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, and landslides that occurred between Aug. 17 and Sept. 14 are eligible to receive funding. The funding is provided by the FHL Bank of Chicago.

“These funds are issued through the Community First Disaster Relief Program,” said Royal Bank President and CEO Dan Ravenscroft. “We are one of the member financial institutions that are handling the grants, but all of the dollars themselves and the decisions on eligibility and the approval of the grants is actually made by the FHL Bank of Chicago. We’re just working hard to make sure we can get as many grants into our local area as possible.”

Through the program, Royal Bank is able to offer $5,000 grants to eligible households and businesses within the Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA declared disaster area, which includes Adams, Crawford, Dane, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Iron, Juneau, La Crosse, Marquette, Monroe, Ozaukee, Richland, Sauk, and Vernon counties.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis through Jan. 31, 2019. It is not required to have an account with Royal Bank to receive funds through the program.

“We’ve had a good portion who are not customers of Royal Bank who have benefited from the program,” Ravenscroft said.

To qualify, the property impacted must either be a business or a primary residence with $5,000 or more in damage. Businesses must meet Small Business Administration eligibility requirements and individuals must meet income limits.

“We’re trying to help connect people with as many resources as possible,” said Mauston City Administrator Randy Reeg. “The first thing they need to do is register with FEMA. There’s a deadline coming up in early December that if they have not registered by that date they will not be able to ever register with FEMA for this particular disaster.”

Ravenscroft strongly encourages businesses that qualify under the Small Business Administration’s eligibility requirements to apply for the grant.

“We’ve had good success so far, we have over $100,000 of grant funds that have been approved and checks have been written out to local folks in our area,” Ravenscroft said. “When we look at the magnitude of the impact of this kind of disaster, this certainly isn’t the all encompassing solution to those problems, but to be able to assist and help out businesses in the local area is certainly something that a community bank (like us) are invested in doing… and helping out our local residents and communities.”

Prospective grant recipients may contact a local Royal Bank office or 800-873-1406 to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl or contact him at 608-697-6353