WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair, Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today released the following statement in response to the Small Business Administration’s release of an updated Disaster Response Plan, an annual report on the agency’s disaster response and a report on the Federal contracts that have been awarded as a result of major disasters:

“The updated Disaster Response plan submitted to Congress this week includes some much-needed modifications to programs that we have come to rely on when disaster strikes. Since 2007, we have worked with the SBA to ensure that the lack of response that plagued small businesses following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita do not get in the way of a speedy recovery should we be placed in a similar situation in the future. The SBA is well on its way to continue with the necessary reforms we placed in the 2008 Farm Bill.

“In September, I convened a field hearing in Galveston, Texas to review the progress of recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. While I am optimistic that the current changes in the SBA’s Disaster Response Plan will prevent previous mistakes from taking place, we still have significant work to do in improving the agency’s disaster response.”

This month, Senator Landrieu introduced legislation to reform the disaster recovery programs run by the Small Business Administration. For more information on Senator Landrieu’s bill, please click here.

In October, Senator Landrieu sent a letter to the SBA outlining her priorities for the agency’s Disaster Response Plan. To view a copy of the letter, please click here.

The 2008 Farm Bill required the SBA submit any revisions to their Disaster Response Plan to Congress and requires SBA to submit to Congress each year a report on agency operations responding to disasters that year and plans for responding to disasters during the next fiscal year. Also required by the 2008 Farm Bill is a report on Federal Contracts awarded as a result of major disasters. Being the first report of its kind from the SBA, this report outlines Federal contracting data disaster-by-disaster and state-by-state. It includes total contracts awarded to small businesses, minority-owned, women-owned, and local contractors.

To view the entire package submitted to Congress by the SBA, please click here.