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May 28, 2013

LSBDC leads the way in disaster response and recovery

The national network of America’s Small Business Development Centers has signed a mutual aid and support declaration to assist SBDCs in the preparedness, rebuilding and recovery of small businesses.

Having been impacted by six disasters in the last eight years including five hurricanes and an oil spill, the LSBDC network— hosted by the University of Louisiana at Monroe—is heralded as the gold standard for disaster preparedness and response.

In the last decade, small businesses across the U.S. have had to withstand numerous disasters, both natural and man-made. These events impose extreme hardships on small businesses, which demonstrate the importance of proper planning.

This agreement will allow all SBDCs to work together and quickly assist small businesses post disaster by sharing critical resources including staff prepared to immediately deploy in the event of a disaster. 

Since 2005, the LSBDC has provided business recovery assistance to more than 10,000 small businesses.

As a leading expert on disaster preparedness and response, the LSBDC has consulted with various organizations at the national and international level to share best practices.

More recently the LSBDC has worked one-on-one with the SBDCs in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

“Whether it is a hurricane, tornado, land slide, or wild fire, natural disasters can be devastating to small businesses,” said Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

That’s why I’m happy to hear that the Association of Small Business Development Centers has agreed to support SBDCs through disaster assistance around the country when disasters strike. Being able to share important resources such as staff, best practices, and supporting materials is vital for a successful recovery. This year I introduced legislation that would allow SBDCs to travel across state lines to assist disaster impacted areas. I look forward to partnering with the ASBDC to get the bill passed this Congress.”

According to Mary Lynn Wilkerson, LSBDC state director and co-chair of the ASBDC disaster committee, having the ability to share best practices of 63 programs will help reduce SBDC response time.

“Cooperation is critical during the recovery process,” said Wilkerson. “This declaration solidifies our commitment as “first responders” to small businesses and in assisting any state or region impacted by disaster that may need additional assistance.” 

Small businesses interested in learning how to better protect their business from unexpected disruption should contact the LSBDC by visiting their website, or calling 866-782-4159.

About the Louisiana Small Business Development Center

Designated and funded as the state’s principal provider of small business assistance by Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides business consulting to entrepreneurs at no cost.

Through a network of 10 centers, the LSBDC provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses.

LSBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development, and participating universities.

All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and limited English proficiency (LEP) will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.

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