Today, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, made the following statement following the passage of the Veterans Small Business Ownership Improvements Act of 2015 (S.1866) through the Committee with unanimous bipartisan support. Additionally, the Committee favorably reported four other bills and a Sense of the Committee Resolution related to small business tax reform to the Senate floor.

“Our role on the Small Business Committee allows us to advocate for America’s entrepreneurs, and that certainly includes our veterans,” said Vitter. “The legislation we passed through Committee today will support our brave servicemen and women as they transition into civilian life and support their communities in their new role as a small business owner.”

The Veterans Small Business Owners Improvement Act of 2015 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 addition to the Vitter-Shaheen bill, two additional veteran-related bills passed out of Committee:

• The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act of 2015 (S.1400), a bill authored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Vitter, which would allow veteran-owned small businesses to participate in the General Services Administration-run surplus property program making available excess federal property – such as computers, vehicles, and office equipment – at no cost to the recipient except for shipping and handling.
• The Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act of 2015 (S.1870), a bill authored by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), which would authorize a pilot program through the Small Business Administration allowing eligible veterans to use their GI bill benefits to start or acquire qualifying businesses.

Additionally, the Committee reported a Sense of the Committee on the Small Business Tax Compliance Relief Act of 2015 (S.1827). The SBC held a hearing on the Vitter-authored legislation in early July.

“The administrative burden of tax compliance for small businesses is now a greater strain on small business than their actual tax liability,” said Vitter. “It is the Sense of the Senate Small Business Committee that the Senate should pass this broadly bipartisan, common sense legislation to help America’s small business owners comply with stringent, stifling rules and regulations.”

This week’s business meeting marks the third the Committee has held this Congress. Vitter, as Chairman, has now passed 15 bipartisan bills and two bipartisan Committee resolutions out of the Committee in 7 months. Click here for more information.