In Letter to President, Ranking Member Shaheen Calls for Prioritization of Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

July 08, 2015

(WASHINGTON, DC) – In a letter to the President, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, is urging federal agencies to fully support veteran-owned small businesses by participating in the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development (IATF).

The IATF was designed by Congress in 2008 to bring together federal agencies to improve and streamline the way the government supports veteran-owned small businesses. The Administrator of the Small Business Administration leads the task force, which is comprised of federal agencies including the Departments of Defense, Labor, Treasury, Veterans Affairs and others, along with veterans service organizations. The leaders of these agencies were copied on the Senator’s letter.

Senator Shaheen’s letter reads, in part:

“Ensuring coordination among these diverse and dedicated organizations will not only improve outcomes for veterans and their families, but it will also provide better value for the taxpayer. Unfortunately, however, many federal agency members have failed to meet their statutory requirement to engage with the IATF.

I encourage you to direct federal agencies to rededicate their efforts to meet the mission of the IATF … I also request that federal agencies send confirmation of their intent to participate in future task force reports and meetings to both the Small Business Administration and this committee at their earliest convenience.”

Senator Shaheen has been a strong supporter of programs that support veteran small business ownership. Earlier this year, she introduced the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act, which would permanently waive loan fees for veteran-owned small businesses on SBA Express Loans between $150,000 and $350,000. The bill also requires the SBA to review existing veterans support programs to enhance their reach to veteran-owned small businesses. The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act passed unanimously out of the Small Business Committee earlier this year.

The full letter is available here.