Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced that his bipartisan legislation, S. 1470, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (or RISE After Disaster Act), passed out of the U.S Senate via unanimous consent. As SBC Chairman, Vitter has passed 21 bills out of the Committee in the last 10 months, 11 more than his predecessors in recent years.

“For those of us in Louisiana, we know from personal experience that a little extra help after natural disasters helps speed up the recovery process. Today I fought to pass bipartisan legislation that will help small businesses get back on their feet,” said Vitter. “Serving as the major source of jobs and drivers of economic growth in their communities, it is vitally important that we ensure small businesses have access to the proper tools and remedies to recover and rebuild in the wake of natural disaster, and my bipartisan RISE After Disaster bill will do just that.”

Vitter’s legislation, the RISE After Disaster Act, would help small businesses recover more quickly after a major disaster through a variety of remedies such as: (1) providing long-term recovery loans to small businesses through community banks after assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is no longer available, (2) directing Federal agencies to utilize local contractors for response and recovery efforts, (3) allowing small businesses affected by major disasters to access surplus property from the Federal government, (4) addressing contractor malfeasance, such as the Chinese drywall crisis, by allowing homeowners and businesses to use their SBA disaster loans to remediate their property; and (5) enabling Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counselors to cross state lines to provide services and help small business clients when existing operations are disrupted in an affected area, among other things. Click here to read more.

In August, Vitter, along with representatives from the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the American Red Cross, and others, hosted a roundtable discussion entitled, “Rising After Disaster: Improvements and Continuing Challenges.” Click here to read more.

As Chairman of the SBC, Vitter continues to fight to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our nation’s disaster relief and recovery efforts, and has passed two disaster recovery bills out of Committee this year: the RISE After Disaster Act of 2015 and the Superstorm Sandy Relief and Disaster Loan Program Improvement Act of 2015.