After applying for an SBA disaster loan in October 2005, a New Orleans seafood processor damaged by Hurricane Katrina didn't get approved until May 2006 and didn't receive the funds until October 2006.

The SBA used Tommy's Seafood as an example to show how the agency was not prepared to handle the deluge of relief requests after Katrina. The business suffered major damage to its two facilities, including equipment and inventory loss, after the catastrophic storm in August 2005 caused destruction on the Gulf Coast, the SBA said. It took a year for Tommy and Maria DeLaune, the business' owners, to receive the disaster loan funds.

"SBA was not prepared, nor fully equipped to effectively provide assistance in the wake of [the Katrina] disaster," the agency said. "But we've learned from our mistakes and, today, we have a much better disaster assistance program in place with increased staff, improved technology and training, and a streamlined loan process."

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