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Source : Louisiana National Guard flickr
October 29, 2021
Author : Kristy Casanova
Congressman Troy Carter (D-LA-02) is asking leaders in FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to include small and local disadvantaged businesses enterprises (DBEs) in the post-Hurricane Ida rebuilding process.
Hurricane Ida is estimated to have caused at least $50 billion in damage to the United States, with 95 related deaths. Thirty three of the related deaths were in Louisiana, another thirty in New Jersey, and eighteen in New York.
Louisiana has been hard hit economically by the Hurricane. The Hurricane destroyed around 30,000 power-line poles and 6,000 transformers across the state. In the town of Jean Lafitte it is estimated 90% of the homes suffered serious damage.
Congressman Carter has taken the lead in pushing for an economic recovery package for the region, and one that benefits small and local business.
In a recent letter to federal authorities he wrote emphasizing the importance of including DBEs in federal recovery contracts aimed at rebuilding the southeast Louisiana region after Hurricane Ida. “Any contracting done pursuant to the Stafford Act or related to disaster recovery efforts in affected areas should fully comply with any applicable small, local or disadvantaged business enterprise requirements. I hope you will consider not just meeting these statutory requirements but setting goals that exceed them.”
Local DBE advocates have agreed with Congressman Carter, stating the importance of utilizing DBEs and the benefits it will provide to the local economy. Employment opportunities for local residents and economic development this could provide is exactly what the state needs.
Congressman Carter ended his letter urging FEMA and others to “heed the President’s directive and prioritize contracting for these businesses”. Local, small, minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran-owned businesses need the opportunity to compete for these contracts and improve their local economy.