WASHINGTON – Today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, introduced bipartisan legislation to reinvigorate the National Veterans Business Development Corporation (TVC) and expand its services and programs to veterans across the country. Kerry was joined by Committee Chair Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), and Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.)

“After their military service is complete, the brave men and women of our armed forces can turn their valuable skills into successful business ventures. But many of our veterans face unique barriers upon returning to civilian life, so veteran-specific business development assistance is critical to helping them start or build a business,” said Kerry. “Washington must do everything possible to keep our promise to our veterans.”

Today there are more than five million veteran entrepreneurs. With more than 200,000 service members expected to retire from the military this year, the TVC program will become increasingly important to help veterans become successful entrepreneurs who create jobs and contribute to the economy.

The Veterans Corporation Reauthorization Act (S. 3691):

  • Calls on TVC to create a network of centers across the country;
  • Expands the TVC’s mission to provide contracting assistance to veterans;
  • Establishes qualification criteria for TVC’s advisory board;
  • Extends the Small Business Administration’s Veterans Advisory Committee, which the Bush Administration planned to terminate this year;
  • Authorizes $2 million a year to TVC for three years to implement its business development programs and requires TVC to obtain private matching funds; and
  • Directs the Government Accountability Office to conduct an audit of TVC.
  • Currently, TVC focuses on helping veterans start and build businesses through access to capital, bonding assistance for entrepreneurs who want to do business with the government, and education, mentoring and counseling programs.

    To read Kerry's statement, click here.