U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, today sent a letter to Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), urging her to implement a Small Business Administrative Directive disaster declaration that would provide additional small business assistance to the impacted parishes along the Red River region in Louisiana. On June 9, 2015, Vitter brought representatives from the SBA to tour the damaged areas in Caddo and Bossier, and was involved in pushing for Presidential Disaster Declaration.
“The impact and damage from the Red River flooding is widespread, and our communities need support to recover,” said Vitter. “Coupled with the federal financial assistance triggered from President Obama’s disaster declaration, our request would specifically provide relief for small business owners in the form of SBA Disaster Loans for the citizens and communities in Louisiana affected by this historical flooding.”
In recent months, historic flooding in Northwest Louisiana has resulted in widespread damage while also causing major disruptions to commerce and transportation. President Obama recognized the considerable damage to impacted communities and made a presidential disaster declaration. Six parishes – Bossier, Caddo, Grant, Natchitoches, Rapides, and Red River – were listed in the major disaster declaration that authorized vital federal assistance funds and resources for Louisiana.
Earlier this month, Vitter introduced the bipartisan National Disaster Relief Tax Act, which would provide for tax relief for disaster victims from 2012 to 2015, including the recent Red River flooding in northwest Louisiana and areas impacted by Hurricane Isaac from 2012. Additionally, Vitter, as Chairman of the Small Business Committee, passed through committee the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (or RISE After Disaster Act), which would help small businesses to recover and adapt more quickly after a major disaster.