Congressman Peter Welch: Small Business Federal Disaster Relief Proposal
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In meetings with small business owners impacted by Irene, Rep. Peter Welch heard one recurring theme about federal disaster relief programs: They did not meet the needs of many small businesses. In the days and weeks following Irene, SBA distributed over 1,900 business disaster loan applications. Only 234 businesses submitted a completed application, of which only 137 loans were approved. In a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA), Welch is asking SBA Administrator Karen Mills to create a new microloan category within the existing SBA disaster loan program. Targeting businesses with fewer than 50 employees, this new loan program would provide smaller, expedited loans with reduced paperwork requirements. He is joined by Skip Hoblin, the owner of Snowfire Auto in Moretown, which sustained damage from Irene.