Tomorrow, Thursday, August 25, 2016, U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, will host Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in Livingston, Ascension, and East Baton Rouge parishes to tour flood-impacted areas and visit Business Recovery Centers, business owners and homeowners. Chairman Vitter also spoke with Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last night, and Castro will be joining Vitter and Administrator Contreras-Sweet for a portion of the day.
The SBA provides disaster assistance to homeowners, businesses and not-for-profit organizations in the form of loans for working capital and physical damage, which is why it is critical for the Administrator to see the damage first-hand and start assisting in recovery. The Senate Small Business Committee has jurisdiction over the SBA.
In 2015, Chairman Vitter worked to pass the RISE After Disaster Act into law, which makes it easier for individuals and businesses affected by a disaster to receive loans from the SBA to recover and rebuild. It also requires the SBA to identify, in advance, locations in every county or parish suitable for use as recovery centers by the SBA. In response to the catastrophic flooding in Louisiana, Vitter has pushed FEMA and the SBA to quickly open recovery centers, and has also requested the SBA to provide a list of identified recovery center locations for each Louisiana parish.
The complete schedule, including a media availability, is being finalized for Chairman Vitter, Administrator Contreras-Sweet, and Secretary Castro, and will be publicly released later today.