Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, announced that his bipartisan legislation, the Recovery Improvements for Small Entities After Disaster Act of 2015 (or RISE After Disaster Act), passed out of the U.S House of Representatives via H.R. 208, the Superstorm Sandy Relief and Disaster Loan Program Improvement Act of 2015. Vitter’s legislation was passed by the Senate earlier this year. To date, SBC Chairman Vitter has passed 24 bills out of the Committee in the last 11 months, 14 more than his predecessors in recent years.
“Those of us in Louisiana know too well the challenges of recovering and rebuilding after devastating natural disasters, which is why we also understand that sometimes we just need a little extra help,” said Vitter. “Having passed it through the Senate earlier this year, I am glad to see my broadly bipartisan legislation pass through the House and head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Small business owners will soon have access to the proper tools and resources they need to get back on their feet again in the wake of catastrophe.”
Passed via H.R. 208, now titled the RISE After Disaster Act, Vitter’s legislation will 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.