WASHINGTON –United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., today congratulated Metairie veterinarians Stephen and Rose Lemarie for receiving the Small Business Owner of the Year Award from the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Lemarie’s are co-owners of Southeast Veterinary Specialists, a specialized veterinary hospital. Today, they gatherd alongside entrepreneurs from across the nation in Washington, D.C., as part of the SBA’s National Small Business Week.

“I am excited to celebrate National Small Business week with this extraordinary company from Louisiana,” Senator Landrieu said. “When power was immediately restored following Hurricane Katrina, these pioneer business owners were ready to jump in and assist the recovery efforts. Their continuous dedication to rebuilding, and the dedication of businesses just like theirs, is playing a key role in bringing the area back, better than ever. I congratulate them on this much-deserved award, and look forward to having their business in Louisiana for many years to come.”

Immediately following the tragic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Lemaries opened a 24-hour emergency facility, providing special care for the hundreds of pets left stranded from the flooding.

With the help of a $2 million U.S. Small Business Administration-guaranteed loan, the Lemaries were able to open a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital specializing in oncology, internal medicine, radiology, physical therapy and rabilitation.

Even with the huge success of their new hospital, the Lemarie’s haven’t stopped giving back to both their community and profession. They remain proud supporters and participants of the Grace King High School Special Needs Students Work Program; Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter; Municipal Police Officer Association of Louisiana; Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association and volunteer in various other animal shelters throughout the area.