Still reeling from the critics who lambasted the Small Business Administration for its glacial pace in administering disaster loans following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the agency has named Patrick Rea to head the relief program.
As chief of the SBA’s Accelerated Disaster Response Initiative, Rea, a former brigadier general in the Army Reserves and former executive director of the Illinois Development Finance Authority, will now oversee all aspects of the program, which began as a strategy to accelerate the process of getting federal low-interest loans to small businesses following a disaster.
Rea most recently served as administrator for the SBA’s Midwest Region.
The SBA came under a flood of criticism –when small business owners in the Gulf Coast region complained of delays in the applications process in the aftermath of the hurricane season.
Shortly afterwards, SBA Administrator Hector Baretto stepped down, and was eventually replaced by Steven C. Preston.
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