Florida Congressman Wants ‘Boots to Business’ Training for Veterans Wanting to Own Businesses

On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., paired up with U.S. Brad Scheider, D-Ill., to showcase the “Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act.”

While, the Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a “Boots to Business” program in 2013 with “which the SBA advises veterans, current active military personnel, spouses, and dependents on how to start their own small businesses,” Scheider’s and Spano’s bill would fully authorize the program. Schneider, who introduced the bill, and Spano both sit on the U.S. House Small Business Committee and its Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access.

“Today I am proud to introduce the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act of 2019, which authorizes a ‘Boots to Business’ program to educate veterans on how to start and run their own small businesses. I believe we need to fully equip our troops to defend our country abroad, but we also need to support them when they return home. This program will ensure our soldiers and their spouses are given the tools they need to succeed in starting their own businesses,” Spano said on Thursday.

The bill has the support of a prominent Democrat on Capitol Hill as U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-NY, is backing it.

“As a nation, our service members and their families deserve not only our immense gratitude, but resources to ease the transition to civilian life when they return home. That is why I am proud to support the Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Act of 2019, a bill that codifies SBA’s business mentorship ‘Boots to Business’ program into law for five additional years. This program has a proven track record of success in helping our hardworking service members apply their drive and leadership to start and grow Main Street businesses across America. I thank Rep. Schneider and Rep. Spano for working in a bipartisan manner to bring forth this legislation,” Velázquez said.

Spano pointed to the large number of veterans in Central Florida including more than 100,000 of them in Hillsborough County.

“Hearing from veterans is critical in meeting their needs. My Veterans Advisory Committee has stressed to me that transition assistance must be improved, and this bill will start addressing some of those concerns,” Spano said. “Equally important, we’ll have a tool that will also benefit our communities as new, veteran-owned small businesses will increase the value of the local economy.”

The bill was sent to the House Small Business Committee on Thursday.


Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.


Kevin Derby
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