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FIRST UNION SENDS BANKERS TO FLORIDA TO HELP WITH HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS

 FIRST UNION SENDS BANKERS TO FLORIDA TO HELP
 WITH HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS
 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Thirty-two First Union bankers, including six from North Carolina, are answering a call for help from the Small Business Administration to speed up the process of applying for a government loan in Miami in the wake of Hurricane Andrew.
 Each banker is working a seven-day shift during the month of September, helping hurricane victims complete applications and providing on-the-spot counsel. The work is being done in 16 disaster application centers in neighborhoods throughout the city.
 Don Waite, public information officer for SBA, said 27,956 applications have been distributed, including 18,376 to home owners and renters; the remainder are to business owners. So far, 1,400 applications have been completed and the SBA has committed nearly $11 million in low interest loans.
 "The SBA is committed to giving a credit decision within seven days after an application is received," Waite said. "It's never been done that fast before, and First Union's bankers are helping us speed that process tremendously. Their job is to work one-on-one with disaster victims to make sure applications are complete."
 The first shift of First Union bankers from North Carolina went down on Sept. 9. Most shifts run from Wednesday through Tuesday, 10-12 hours each day.
 Volunteers are:
 Sept. 9-15
 Marianne Grindon, city marketing representative, Raleigh
 Mason Elder, commercial banker, Wilmington
 Jimmy Cotchett, Arden branch manager, Asheville
 Sept. 14-18
 Scott Pritchard, lease marketing representative,
 Charlotte
 Sept. 23-29
 Elizabeth Hackney Whitsel, regional sales trainer,
 Raleigh
 Sept. 30 to Oct. 6
 Gary Hancock, regional credit manger, Greensboro
 They join 26 other First Union bankers from northern and central Florida, Georgia and South Carolina in the relief effort. First Union is housing them in hotel rooms about 30-35 miles away, the closest rooms available.
 "Because of extra traffic on the roads now, that means a round-trip commute for them of 2 1/2 to 3 hours a day -- in addition to a 10-12 hour work day," said Mike Quackenbush, First Union's business banking manager in Dade and Monroe counties. "Their biggest challenge, though, is the emotional one. The work can be gut-wrenching. It's one thing to see this on TV but another when you're face to face with someone who just lost everything."
 First Union National Bank of North Carolina is a principal subsidiary of Charlotte-based First Union Corporation (NYSE: FTU and FTUpr) and operates 270 offices throughout the state.
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Sandy Deem, First Union Corporation, 704-374-2710/
 (FTU) CO: First Union Corporation ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU:


JZ -- CH004 -- 9529 09/15/92 10:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
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