After the Small Business Administration (SBA) was widely criticized for its performance following the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, the agency took steps to reform its Disaster Loan Program. Congress also enacted the Small Business Disaster Response and Loan Improvements Act of 2008 (Act), which places new requirements on SBA to ensure it is prepared for catastrophic disasters. This testimony discusses (1) the extent to which SBA has addressed the Act's requirements, and (2) how SBA's response to major disasters in 2008 aligned with key components of its June 2007 Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP). In completing this statement, GAO reviewed and updated, as appropriate, the July 2009 report, Small Business Administration: Additional Steps Should Be Taken to Address Reforms to the Disaster Loan Program and Improve the Application Process for Future Disasters (GAO-09-755). In that report, GAO recommended that SBA should fulfill the Act's region-specific marketing and outreach requirements; complete its annual report to Congress; issue an updated DRP; develop an implementation plan for remaining requirements; and develop procedures to further improve the application process for the Disaster Loan Program.
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