After Major Casey Effort: Department of Commerce Awards Over $879k to Pennsylvania Small Businesses Devastated by Floods

Eastern PA Businesses Still Recovering from September 2011 Storms

Funding Will Rebuild, Prepare Businesses for Future Disasters

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today announced that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will support Disaster Relief Opportunity funding for the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network. Fourteen SBDCs eastern Pennsylvania counties were awarded a grant of $879,210 through the EDA’s 2012 disaster relief funding. Senator Casey highlighted the importance of funding for small business preparedness to Pennsylvania’s economy in a letter to Regional Director of the Economic Development Administration Willie C. Taylor last year.

“In September 2011, flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated communities throughout eastern Pennsylvania,” wrote Senator Casey.  “I witnessed this devastation firsthand, specifically seeing the interruption it caused to small businesses in the region.  I understand that Pennsylvania SBDC will use this funding in its efforts to strengthen the resiliency of small firms in the wake of these disasters and better prepare them for future disasters.”

Funding will help Pennsylvania SBDC programs prepare for future disasters. By assisting with the transition of critical data to "the cloud," businesses will be able to continue operations independent of a physical location. The SBDC network will also work to educate companies on how to develop disaster preparedness and response plans so that off-site workflows can continue during and after a disaster. The funding will provide critical support to small businesses in eastern Pennsylvania as they work to rebuild and re-establish their businesses and spur economic growth in the community.

This grant allows the Pennsylvania SBDC to provide technical assistance to private business firms in Bradford, Columbia, Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Luzerne, Lycoming, Northumberland, Perry, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming and York counties through a network of six Small Business Development Centers at Bucknell, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Shippensburg, Scranton, and Wilkes universities. 

Senator Casey’s letter to the Regional Director of the Economic Development Administration is below:

Mr. Willie C. Taylor

Regional Director

Economic Development Administration

United States Department of Commerce

The Curtis Center

601 Walnut Street, Suite 140 South

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106-3323

Dear Mr. Taylor:

It is my understanding that the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network has submitted an application to the Economic Development Administration for funding through the FY 2012 Disaster Relief Opportunity.  The purpose of this letter is to express my strong support for this application and urge you to give it full and fair consideration. 

In September 2011, flooding caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee devastated communities throughout eastern Pennsylvania.  I witnessed this devastation firsthand, specifically seeing the interruption it caused to small businesses in the region.  I understand that Pennsylvania SBDC will use this funding in its efforts to strengthen the resiliency of small firms in the wake of these disasters and better prepare them for future disasters.

Specifically, I am informed that this funding will support Pennsylvania SBDC programs to help businesses transition critical data to "the cloud," so they can continue operations independent of a physical location.  Furthermore, I have been advised that the SBDCs will educate companies on how to develop disaster preparedness and response plans so that off-site workflows can continue during and after a disaster.  I understand that SBDCs have a strong record of successfully assisting companies impacted by disasters.  This funding will provide critical support to small businesses in eastern Pennsylvania as they work to rebuild and re-establish their businesses and spur economic growth in the community.

Thank you in advance for the consideration of my views.  Please include this letter in the official record of the application.  Consistent with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, I also respectfully request that you keep me informed of the status of this grant application. 

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

Press Contact

April Mellody 202-228-6367