A proposal with key support a freshman congressman from Florida to help veterans launch small businesses is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill and is now before the full U.S. House.
Last month, U.S. Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., paired up with U.S. Brad Scheider, D-Ill., to bring out 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. The bill has the support of a prominent Democrat on Capitol Hill as U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, D-NY, is backing it.
When they brought out the bill last month, 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 cleared the U.S. House Small Business Committee this week.
“I am grateful to my colleagues on the Small Business Committee who recognize the importance of helping our veterans and their families transition to civilian life after successful military careers,” Spano said on Wednesday. “The Department of Defense helps develop the type of leadership, logistics, and critical thinking skills that are necessary to succeed as small business owners. The Boots to Business program will ensure these talented men and women remain an integral part of the marketplace and have the resources necessary to go the distance as community leaders.”
Now the bill heads to the House floor. There is a companion measure over in the U.S. Senate championed by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Col., and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.