SBA administrator talks disaster mitigation, resiliency plans with DTLA small businesses owners

"Focusing on how small businesses can be resilient during a disaster and help recover is the most critical thing that we can do."

Carlos Granda Image
Friday, December 2, 2022
SBA administrator helps DTLA small businesses deal with big disasters
EMBED <>More Videos

The head of the Small Business Administration Isabella Casillas Guzmán visited Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with small business owners and discuss how the federal government can help them survive a natural disaster.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The head of the Small Business Administration Isabella Casillas Guzmán visited Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with small business owners and discuss how the federal government can help them survive a natural disaster.

"Focusing on how small businesses can be resilient during a disaster and help recover is the most critical thing that we can do," she said.

Guzmán visited the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to sign a new agreement with the U.S. Resiliency Council, which will help small businesses to prepare and overcome natural and manmade disasters.

"Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and our communities, and when they struggle, we know that here in Los Angeles, we all feel this," said Maria Salinas, the head of the L.A. chamber of commerce.

One big issue is to upgrade so-called "soft story buildings," which could collapse during an earthquake.

Officials said there are about 100,000 apartment buildings in this category. These structures suffered losses in the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

"The big one could cause hundreds or thousands of these buildings to be damaged or destroyed, resulting in heavy casualties, displacement of 250,000 or more residents and a devastating impact on local economies, especially small businesses," said Evan Reis with the U.S. Resiliency Council.

Guzmán said the help is vital to their growth.

"The long tail end of the disaster we need to be there for communities in the long run to help them rebuild," she said.