Shaheen & Leahy Legislation to Support Small Businesses with National Guard and Military Reservists Passes the Senate
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) issued the following statements after their legislation to support small businesses with National Guard and Military Reservists unanimously passed the Senate. The National Guard and Reserve Entrepreneurship Act will assist small businesses when essential employees, including small business owners, are called up as part of National Guard or Reservist duties, by improving existing loan and deferral programs of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and making them more accessible. These programs include the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL), a direct loan program that provides emergency working capital to small businesses to meet their obligations until operations return to normal after the essential employee is released from active duty military, and the Repayment Deferral for Active Duty Reservists (Repayment Deferral), which authorizes the SBA to work with private lenders to defer interest or loan repayment for small businesses facing similar situations.
“The civilian men and women serving in our National Guard have committed to serve our country, and we need to have their backs,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m very pleased that this legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support, because it will provide much-needed assistance to entrepreneurs and small business employees who are deployed. I will continue to work across the aisle and with SBA to support these critical programs and I urge the House to pass this legislation to support our National Guard.”
“The citizen-soldiers of the National Guard, and the small businesses that employ them, are vital to the close-knit communities that make Vermont such a special place,” said Senator Leahy, Co-Chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus. “This legislation will enable entrepreneurs and small businesses affected by deployments to better take advantage of every opportunity. With Vermont National Guard soldiers currently deployed, this bill is needed now more than ever.”