WASHINGTON – Small businesses can play a part in assisting the more than 40,000 American Red Cross Volunteers helping people impacted by Hurricane Katrina rebuild their lives, said SBA Administrator Hector Barreto. Barreto shared this sentiment at a Sept. 12 meeting hosted by the SBA and attended by more than 50 small business owners, CUNA and other trade groups. To replace everyday personal items like clothing, Barreto said the SBA can make $40,000 loans to make it happen. The agency can also make loans up to $200,000 to replace or repair damaged property. Those loans are available to both individuals and businesses, he reminded. After an unprecedented four hurricanes struck Florida and 13 other states last summer, the SBA approved more than $2.1 billion in disaster loans to about 64,500 residents and business owners in the disaster areas. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica highlighted the trade group’s newest undertaking – Relief Effort and Support for Credit Unions (R.E.S.C.U.), which facilitates staff volunteers at disaster-impacted credit unions. American Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter reiterated the need for volunteers now and going forward to assist those who have evacuated from Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to other.

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