A New York congresswoman is calling for an investigation into why the U.S. Small Business Administration has denied 90 percent of its loans to hurricane victims.
So far, the SBA has approved only 89 loans to businesses in the entire Gulf South seven weeks after Katrina came ashore.
In Louisiana alone, hurricanes Katrina and Rita disrupted an estimated 32-thousand businesses from Lake Charles to New Orleans.
Representative Nydia Velázquez, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Small Business Committee, has asked the General Accounting Office to investigate whether the SBA is responding sufficiently.
An SBA spokesman said the agency has processed 1,333 of the total 13,251 business loan applications and 11,466 of the total 63,253 home loan applications.
After Hurricane Charlie struck Florida last year, spokesman Mike Stamley says the SBA approved 42 percent of all loan applications.