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News from U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe
Chair, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
For Immediate Release: April 5, 2006
Contact: Chris Chichester, 202-228-5843

Agency’s Action Fulfill Requests Made By Senator Snowe In October Letter To FEMA

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), Chair of the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today applauded the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for awarding 36 five-year contracts with a value up to $100 million each to small and small disadvantaged businesses as part of Gulf Coast hurricane rebuilding efforts.

FEMA’s actions fulfill requests Senator Snowe made in an October letter to Acting Under Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and Response R. David Paulison. In addition, Senator Snowe also encouraged Small Business Administration Administrator Hector Barreto in Congressional hearings to expand small business participation in Gulf Coast Reconstruction. Last year FEMA proposed to award only 15 contracts and restrict them to firms certified under Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.

“I was pleased to learn that FEMA, with the SBA’s support, plans to more than double its prime contracts to small and minority-owned business for Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts,” said Senator Snowe. “Small and minority-owned businesses have proven to be capable partners in federal contracting, and there’s no reason why the work for Hurricane recovery cannot be apportioned among small businesses or teams of small businesses on a local or regional basis.”

“My Committee and the Bush administration have often emphasized the strong growth in job creation and small business ownership when large government contracts are unbundled,” stated Senator Snowe. “With continued unemployment and business interruptions in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, it is imperative that every Federal agency involved in disaster recovery meet or exceed the statutory goals for small business contracting."

Senator Snowe noted the awards were made to small and minority-owned businesses in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. Detailed information about the awards is available at under the following solicitation numbers: HSFEHQ-06-R-8A for small and disadvantaged businesses and HSFEHQ-06-R-SB for small businesses.

Senator Snowe’s letter is attached.


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