WASHINGTON—As the nation prepares to celebrate Veterans Day this weekend, today Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) urged the Bush Administration to gather more information on veteran business owners. In a letter to the Department of Commerce, Kerry and Akaka called for more detailed surveys of veteran business owners and entrepreneurs to match surveys already conducted on minority and women business owners.

“Muddling through with blinders on is not an option I’m willing to accept. As our brave soldiers return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we need to make sure that the government is fully informed about the challenges veteran entrepreneurs face and the trends of veteran small business ownership,” said Senator Kerry, Chairman of the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. “Our heroes deserve every tool to succeed when they return, and in order to make the kinds of policy decisions that will help our veterans, we need good information.”

“I proudly join Senator Kerry in calling on the Department of Commence to improve their data collection on veteran entrepreneurs,” said Senator Akaka, Chairman of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. “As the newest generation of service men and women return from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, they deserve to have modernized structures in place that support their business aspirations. We need quality data on veteran businesses in order to provide them with greatly deserved opportunities for success.”

Earlier this year, Kerry expressed support for funding the Survey of Business Owners and Self Employed Persons, which includes reports on veterans, minority and women entrepreneurs. Although the Senate passed legislation fully funding the survey in October, the House version of the bill eliminates this survey by cutting Census funding by $10 million dollars. The Senate and House are currently negotiating the differences.

To read the letter that Senators Kerry and Akaka sent to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, please click here.