Shaheen, Vitter Introduce Bipartisan Veterans Bill Putting ‘Boots to Business’

Legislation would authorize Small Business Administration programs helping veteran entrepreneurs

July 27, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (SBC) and U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), SBC Chairman, today introduced the Veterans Small Business Ownership Improvements Act of 2015.

 “Many veterans are applying the same can-do approach they used in the military to start and grow their own small businesses,” said Shaheen. “This bipartisan legislation will strengthen the programs available to our veterans and do a better job of connecting them with resources that can help their businesses succeed.  This bill is about making the federal government a better ally of our veterans as they transition from military service to local job-creators.”

“Starting a small business takes hard work and dedication, which is why I’ve worked with my Small Business Committee Ranking Member Senator Jeanne Shaheen to ensure that our veteran small business owners and entrepreneurs have access to the best available resources and training to start and grow their businesses,” said Vitter. “I look forward to passing this bipartisan legislation that will help so many of our brave servicemen and women put their ‘boots to business’ as they transition from active service to civilian life.”

This legislation would authorize the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) “Boots to Business,” Women Veterans Business Training, Business Training for Service Disabled Veterans, and Veterans Business Outreach Center programs, and would specifically:

  • Make permanent taught and self-service business training programs (both online and in-classroom) for our veteran entrepreneurs and their families, which includes a three-step “boot-camp” for veteran entrepreneurs.
  • Provide business development training and counseling that includes technical assistance and financial, management, and marketing advice.
  • Improve the matching and networking of military service members and veterans for both counselors/mentors and clients.
  • Provide the necessary oversight and program/agency coordination to ensure that our veterans and their families receive the highest quality resources and services available to allow them to be successful small business owners.
  • Create a one-stop online resource for all of the SBA’s business development and entrepreneurial programs.

In June, SBC held a hearing entitled, “Opening Doors to Economic Opportunity for Our Veterans and Their Families Through Entrepreneurship.” The Vitter-Shaheen bill was crafted in part from testimony and comments from the testifying witnesses at the hearing.