WASHINGTON – With the six-month Atlantic hurricane season beginning June 1, the SBA is urging small businesses to take steps to protect their lives and property. In the aftermath of last summer's hurricanes that caused billions of dollars in losses in Florida and 12 other states, the SBA approved more than $2 billion in disaster loans to about 63,000 residents and businesses. "While the SBA is always ready to help homeowners and entrepreneurs rebuild after a disaster," said SBA Administrator Hector Barreto, "millions in taxpayer dollars can be saved when flood losses are covered by insurance." Credit unions in the affected states were also impacted by 2004′s hurricanes through power and ATM failures, flood damage, roof damage and having to temporarily close branches.

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