House Approves Legislation to Help Veterans and Reservists Succeed as Small Business Owners – Post No. 012408-1

House of Representative Seal

News From the
Committee on Small Business
Nydia M. Velázquez, Chairwoman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More than 20 percent of all U.S. service members have either purchased or started new businesses, providing significant contributions to job growth and local economies.  Today, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 4253, The Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act of 2007.  The legislation, introduced by Congressman Jason Altmire, expands small business opportunities for veterans and helps military reservists keep their businesses afloat during and after deployment.

“Our military personnel demonstrate unwavering dedication to preserving democracy and America’s security.  As small business owners, they bring that same resolve to strengthening our economy,” said Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez.

Because service members are removed from the workforce for an extended period of time, they often face difficulties securing capital or technical assistance upon their return from active duty.  Additionally, while many veterans acquire specialized skills as part of their military training, they often find it challenging to transform those skills into profitable resources.  Today’s legislation helps mitigate those challenges.

“The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have produced more than 600,000 new veterans. Our bill offers them important tools that will help them successfully transition back into the economy.” Chairwoman Velázquez said. 

H.R. 4253 updates several of the Small Business Administration’s programs focused on military personnel.  The legislation increases funding for the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development; makes available additional capital for veterans through the SBA’s 7(a) and disaster loan programs; and it increases the number of Veterans Business Outreach Centers across the country.  The bill also establishes an interagency taskforce to improve coordination and outreach to veteran and reservist entrepreneurs by federal agencies. 

“Given the changing needs and growing numbers of today’s veterans and reservists, the challenges they face call for a prompt response.  I am pleased we are providing one, and I look forward to the President signing this bill into law.” Chairwoman Velázquez said. 

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