VETERANS AND RESERVIST EMPLOYEES
The men and women who serve our nation in the military deserve more than just our respect – they deserve our assistance. With more than 3.3 million veteran-owned small businesses in America, veterans play a critical role in strengthening and expanding our economy. It is imperative that the Committee continues to find innovative ways to further help our nation’s heroes.
The Entrepreneurial Development Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S. 1229): On June 10, 2009, Ranking Member Snowe and Committee Chair Landrieu introduced the Entrepreneurial Development Reauthorization Act of 2009 (S.1229). Included in this legislation are critical provisions that expand the network of veterans business assistance centers through the creation of a Veterans Business Center (VBC) program administered by the SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development. This program will establish a nationwide network of veterans business centers that provide education, training, advice, and counseling on: financing and access to capital, management and business operations, marketing and advertising, procurement and contracting opportunities, and small business opportunities for veterans, Guard members, Reservists and their spouses and surviving spouses. Additionally, to coordinate training and other opportunities in every state, the bill directs each SBA District Office to designate one individual to specifically handle veterans business concerns, and establishes an online mechanism through which these centers and designated SBA staff may communicate to better enhance coordination and leverage best practices and services more effectively. The full bill, including the VBC program language, passed the Committee unanimously on July 2, 2009, and the Committee is working to get the bill passed by the entire Senate. To read the text of the legislation, please click here. To read a summary of the bill, please click here (see Title IV of the bill).
Service Disabled Veteran Contracting: The Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 set an annual government-wide goal of 3 percent of the total value of all prime contract and subcontract awards for each fiscal year for small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans. In addition, Executive Order 13360 requires that federal procurement officials and prime contractors provide small businesses owned and controlled by veterans or service-disabled veterans with the maximum practicable opportunity to participate in the performance of contracts let by any federal agency, including subcontracts. Unfortunately, the Federal government continues to fall grossly short on its goals for contracting with service-disabled veterans, recently achieving only 1.01 percent in fiscal year 2007. The Committee continuously strives to remedy this inequity.
The Military Reservist and Veteran Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-186): This critical legislation, signed into law by President Bush on February 14, 2008, contained several of Ranking Member Snowe’s priorities, including the establishment of an Interagency Task Force to maximize Federal assistance to veteran business owners; the extension of time limitations for SBA programs (extended by the length of a deployment); increased funding for the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development; and greater access to capital. A top priority for Ranking Member Snowe in this Congress is the formation of an effective and consequential Interagency Task Force, which finally occurred via Executive Order on April 26, 2010 - nearly two years after it should have been established. To read the text of the legislation, please click here. To read a summary of the law, please click here.
U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Veterans Business Development: http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/ovbd/index.html
Department of Veterans Affairs’ Center for Veterans Enterprise: http://www.vetbiz.gov/
Department of Defense’s Office of Veteran Programs, Veteran-Owned Small Business: http://www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/programs/veterans/index.htm
SBA’s Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans (MREIDLs): http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/militaryreservistsloans/index.html
SBA’s Patriot Express Loan Program: http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress/index.html
VA’s Directory of Veterans Service Organizations: http://www1.va.gov/VSO/