SBA Administrator, Isabel Casillas Guzmán, with entrepreneurs from Pennsylvania.
The SBA Administrator meeting with entrepreneurs from Pennsylvania. Photo: @SBAIsabel.

Changes announced to SBA's Disaster Enterprise to strengthen support for communities affected by disasters

The reimagined Office of Disaster Resiliency and Recovery (ODR&R) will better position the entire government to respond to climate change.


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U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Guzmán recently unveiled the second stage of the realignment and strengthening of SBA's Office of Disaster Resiliency and Recovery (ODR&R) with the launch of a new division for disaster care.

The Administrator pointed out:

When small businesses and their communities are hit by disaster, the SBA is on the ground with vital resources to aid their recovery. The transformation of our SBA disaster enterprise to align all of our capital programs will help us implement President Biden’s call to ensure disaster survivors can easily and swiftly connect to vital financial relief.

Responding to climate change

Highlighting how a special emphasis has been placed under the Biden administration on preparing small businesses, homeowners, renters, and communities to pivot and adapt to the tremendous financial impacts caused by climate change, the newly-renovated and realigned office will play a critical role in supporting small businesses as natural disasters become more devastating.

“Further, by layering support for recovery and resilience, we can help strengthen small businesses and communities to better prepare for and manage the disruptive impacts to their lives and livelihoods caused by increasing extreme weather events,” added Guzmán.

A new disaster program

Formerly known within the SBA as the Office of Disaster Assistance (ODA), the Office of Disaster Resiliency and Recovery (ODR&R) marks the second and final phase of the reorganization of SBA's disaster program.

The first phase was marked by the approval of more than $4.3 billion in disaster loans and support for federal response efforts to 337 natural disasters.

In addition to continuing to advance ODR&R's primary mission of supporting the delivery of SBA disaster assistance, the reorganization will allow for a greater focus on recovery and resiliency through improved coordination and an agency-wide approach to implement all SBA programs in communities affected by the disaster.

ODR&R will also support federally coordinated disaster preparedness, response, recovery, planning, and economic resiliency activities, taking advantage of other SBA programs that can improve a business' opportunity to recover and prosper after being impacted by a disaster.

“This marks the most significant transformation for disaster relief in SBA’s history and builds on a successful record of helping communities recover. It’s a privilege to have worked on making Administrator Guzman’s vision into a legacy accomplishment that positions SBA for the disasters ahead through fostering resilient communities where small businesses can grow, local economies can thrive, and people can prosper,” said Francisco Sanchez Jr., associate administrator at the Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience.


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