(WASHINGTON, DC) – The U.S. Senate passed Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Act, which would lower the cost of Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs designed to assist veterans in starting and growing their small businesses. Shaheen, who serves as the Ranking Member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, praised the progress made on the legislation:
“Many veterans are applying the same can-do approach they used in the military to start and grow their own small businesses,” said Shaheen. “One way to help them is to waive some of the fees associated with federal small business loans, which is exactly what my bill does. I’m very encouraged by the progress we’ve made in Congress on this legislation. With Senate passage, we’re now one step closer to this important legislation becoming law.”
Earlier this year, Shaheen visited Able Ebenezer Brewing Companyin Merrimack, a veteran-owned small business that was able to take advantage of the SBA’s Patriot Express loan guarantee program which would be subject to the fee waiver in Shaheen’s legislation. Last year, Daniel Proulx of Monument Construction in Nashua, came to Washington and testified in favor of the legislation. Monument was able to take advantage of an SBA 504 loan and has put a strong focus on hiring New Hampshire veterans.
The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives before heading the President’s desk. The bill would permanently waive fees on certain loans for veterans applying for SBA Express loans and also improve current SBA programs designed to assist veterans by focusing on pre-deployment financial counseling and emergency assistance. The legislation also includes a provision requiring the Small Business Administration to identify ways to improve its outreach and services for female veterans, particularly through the SBA’s Women Business Centers and Veteran Business Outreach Centers.
Text of Senator Shaheen’s Veterans Entrepreneurship Act is available here.