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Rubio, King Lead Colleagues to Introduce the PREPARE Act to Reauthorize SBA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program

May 13, 2021 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Angus King (I-ME) led a bipartisan group of their Senate colleagues in reintroducing the Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises (PREPARE) Act. The legislation would reauthorize the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Pre-Disaster Mitigation Pilot Program to give small businesses the opportunity to take out low-interest loans for the purpose of proactively implementing mitigation measures to protect their property from future disaster-related damage. Rubio and King first introduced this legislation in September 2020. 
In addition to Senators Rubio and King, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Susan Collins (R-ME), and John Kennedy (R-LA). Congressman Joe Morelle (D-NY) is leading companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Small businesses in America should be able to prepare for unplanned disasters,” Rubio said. “The PREPARE Act would allow small businesses the opportunity to invest in mitigation before a disaster strikes, saving businesses and taxpayers money, as well as reducing potential property damage.” 
“Over the past several years, we’ve seen an increasing number of natural disasters that throw communities into chaos,” King said. “In light of these growing challenges, it is absolutely essential that we help small businesses take steps to get ahead of these foreseeable threats and secure themselves in the event of potential natural disasters. This legislation incentivizes proactive efforts to prepare for emergencies, and allows these small businesses to weather whatever storm may come and ensure they can continue serving our communities. Our bipartisan legislation will only grow in importance as the effects of climate change continue to alter our nation; let’s pass it now, so small businesses in towns throughout Maine and across America can prepare for the next crisis.  It’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ so let’s help our small businesses protect themselves.”
“Iowa small businesses need to have access to resources to prepare for natural disasters,” Ernst said. “This bipartisan bill will help our small business owners make investments to protect their property from potential disasters, and help them avoid unforeseen expenses in the future.”
“With natural disasters posing greater and greater risk to our communities, it’s critical the federal government provide small businesses with the resources they need to protect themselves against disaster-related damage,” Wyden said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in Oregon and states across the nation. Congress must make sure they can weather any storm, especially as the climate crisis continues to worsen.”
“Communities across Maryland and the nation are enduring stronger and more frequent storms due to climate change,” Cardin, Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee, said. “It’s more important than ever that small businesses be ready for whatever extreme weather or crisis comes next. The PREPARE Act will empower small businesses to proactively invest in hazard mitigation and build resilience to survive natural disasters.”
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, but one disaster could quickly wipe out a small business that a family spent years or even generations to build,” Collins said. “Our bipartisan bill would provide low-interest loans to allow small businesses to protect their property from future disasters, limiting potential damage and helping them to recover more quickly when catastrophes strike.”
“No one knows better than a Louisianian how to prepare for natural disasters, and this bill will make it easier for our small businesses to prevent loss,” Kennedy said. “Too often, hardworking Americans are forced to weather storms first and federal bureaucracy second. I’m thankful to work with Sen. Rubio and colleagues to pass the PREPARE Act before another historic hurricane batters our state.”
“Our community knows all too well how devastating flooding can be to local businesses—many of which are already struggling with the severe financial impacts of COVID-19,” Morelle said. “It’s more important now than ever that we take preventative action to prepare for future flooding and protect our small businesses from additional economic hardship. Strong mitigation efforts are the key to our resiliency, and that’s why I’m so proud to partner with my colleagues to introduce this much-needed legislation and help strengthen coastal communities.”