FEMA Continues Partnership with Miss. Businesses in Katrina Rebuilding

January 13, 2006

The amount of disaster-related contracts awarded Mississippi businesses by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) after Hurricane Katrina has topped $250 million.

Since the August storm battered the Gulf Coast region with high winds and severe storm surge leaving catastrophic damage in its wake, the federal government has committed more than $1.5 billion to the state’s recovery.

“We continue to forge relationships with Mississippi businesses as part of our long-term commitment to help get this state back on its feet,” said Nick Russo, federal coordinating officer for the disaster. “Small and minority-owned businesses are an important part of the recovery, so we encourage them to register with the Mississippi Contract Procurement Center.”

At the direction of FEMA, the General Services Administration (GSA), through a partnership with the Mississippi Contract Procurement Center, is contracting with Mississippi businesses for disaster-related needs that include the following:

* GSA has purchased travel trailers from Mississippi small business totaling $203 million for FEMA’s temporary housing program.
* GSA awarded Mississippi businesses more than $14 million for leases including those for office space, other facilities, equipment, and land on which to place trailers.
* GSA has also awarded almost $33 million to Mississippi businesses for various services and products related to the recovery.

Additionally, the U.S Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Program has approved 13,130 loan applications totaling more than $972 million, as of this week, for homeowners, renters and business owners in Mississippi to help them recover from storm-related damage and losses.

“It has been our goal for Mississippians to help rebuild Mississippi,” said MEMA Director Robert Latham. “We encourage all Mississippi businesses to register and ensure they are the ones involved in this process.”

Because the recovery will be funded over several years, Mississippi businesses are encouraged to pursue all opportunities to play a role in the recovery process. Interested contractors and vendors should call the Mississippi Development Center at 1-662-915-5001, toll free in Mississippi 1-800-725-7232, or e-mail the center at msbdc@olemiss.edu.

Vendors seeking to provide services or products in disaster-related efforts should contact the Mississippi Contract Procurement Center at www.mscpc.com or call 1-800-222-6362.

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