**Funds Available to Assist DEMA Member Exhibitors and Buyers of DEMA Show 2015 **
The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) announced on October 23, 2015 that the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors has approved the activation of the Disaster Assistance Program to assist DEMA-Member Show Exhibitors and Buyers impacted by Tropical Storm Erika, Hurricanes Joaquin and Patricia, and the severe California wildfire known as the Valley Fire.
DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program was first created in 2004 and has been used when DEMA-Member companies are impacted by disasters which may interfere with their ability to promote their businesses, products, services and destinations. The funds have also been set aside to assist DEMA-Member retailers to make sure that they can continue their operations. As funds are limited, in this instance, DEMA has earmarked them specifically for DEMA-Member companies that planned to exhibit or buy at DEMA Show 2015 but which were subsequently impacted by these natural disasters. Funds are provided to Exhibitors, in the affected areas, based on their exhibit size, and to Buyers in the impacted areas who attend DEMA Show and stay in a DEMA block hotel.
Exhibitors from the affected areas outlined below are eligible to apply for the funds to help them get to the trade show. Buyers who planned to attend DEMA Show can also apply for funds to assist in staying onsite at DEMA Show.
"The DEMA Disaster Assistance Program funds are available to DEMA-Member manufacturers, destinations and other industry related entities to aid them in getting to and exhibiting at DEMA Show 2015,” said Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “Registered Buyers from DEMA Member businesses who are staying in the DEMA hotel block are also eligible for funds to assist in attending DEMA Show, so they can buy products and services they need to keep their businesses in operation.”
Exhibitor Assistance Program: DEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program funds are available to DEMA-Member Exhibitors who were fully paid by September 25, 2015, and physically located in the following places:
· Dominica – Tropical Storm Erika (August, 2015)
· Northern California Counties of Lake, Napa and Sonoma - Valley Fire (September, 2015)
· Bahamas – Hurricane Joaquin (September/October 2015)
· South Carolina – Hurricane Joaquin (September/October 2015)
· Southeastern North Carolina – Hurricane Joaquin (September/October 2015)
· Western Mexico – Hurricane Patricia (October 2015)
For affected Exhibitors, each exhibit space purchased and paid for by September 25, 2015, DEMA will provide regular Exhibitors with $US 400.00 in assistance. Funds will be awarded onsite at DEMA Show 2015 to the exhibiting companies who apply and fall within the guidelines deeming them eligible for assistance. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis up to the maximum available from the DEMA disaster assistance fund. All interested parties must apply for the assistance funds on site at DEMA Show in Orlando, FL prior to close of the Show, November 7, 2015. For more information and to receive a DEMA 2015 Disaster Assistance Fund Processing form, see the DEMA Staff at the DEMA Booth at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. The complete rules for disbursements will be available at the DEMA Booth.
Attendee Assistance Program: Designed for DEMA Member Buyers who are registered for the Show and staying in one of the hotels contained within the official DEMA Show hotel block, one registered Buyer from an attending DEMA Member business physically located in the affected areas can receive reimbursement for one night hotel stayin the DEMA hotel block which takes place by midnight eastern time, November 6, 2015. The complete rules for disbursements will be available at the DEMA Booth.
Designated disaster areas eligible for funds include:
- The Bahamas Island chain
- South Carolina
- The Southeastern Region of North Carolina
- Cities located in the Northern California counties of Lake, Sonoma and Napa
- The Island of Dominica
- Western Mexico
Rosen Centre Hotel
9840 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
Hilton Orlando Convention Center
6001 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819
Days Inn Orlando/International Drive
5858 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819
The designated Buyer from an affected DEMA Member must apply for the disaster funds through the DEMA Office prior to close of business on December 3, 2015 and present the receipt for the hotel stay. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis up to the maximum of the DEMA disaster assistance fund. Exhibitors are not eligible for hotel reimbursement assistance under this program, but can receive Exhibitor Assistance as described above.