SBA says it's ready to handle next disaster
The federal Small Business Administration says over the past five years it has upgraded technology and streamlined the entire loan process to improve how it helps disaster victims.
But questions linger about whether the agency is prepared to handle storms on the scale of hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which caused nearly $118 billion in property damage.
Federal regulators have criticized SBA for its failures. Former loan officer Gale Martin and others told lawmakers in 2007 how they were pressured to process loan applications without helping people.
A coalition of business owners who had trouble landing SBA disaster loans after the hurricanes want Congress to force SBA to reconsider loans that were originally rejected or withdrawn.