1 VET AT A TIME aggressively promotes military veteran small business opportunities. In the nine (9) years following WW II, 49% of our military veterans ended up owning their own business. As a result, the American small business economy grew and flourished like never before.
Just as in the post WW II era, America very much needs a small business resurgence; however, only 6-7% of our post 9/11 veterans are in business for themselves. While many more veterans desire to have their own small business, those able to fulfill this aspiration have become few and far between.
At the national level, 1 VET AT A TIME played a leading role in promoting the creation of S.1870 – The Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition (VET) Act of 2015(17). We are a primary national supporter of this long overdue effort to bring the current G.I. Bill back to its original intent…”full employment.” That original G.I. Bill (Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) provided a range of benefits, to include low-interest loans to start a business. This fueled significant entrepreneurship amongst WW II veterans which greatly fostered the legendary, unprecedented growth of the post-WW II American economy. In contrast, TODAY … the disappointing shortfall of veteran small business ownership essentially boils down to one main thing: lack of access to start-up capital from traditional small business lending sources (banks, etc.). S.1870 would restore our veterans’ capability to leverage small-business start-up capital via their G.I. Bill, much as it could be done in 1944.
Significantly, 1VAAT promoted the successful passing, by unanimous vote, of Illinois SB 324. This groundbreaking law gives Illinois veterans access to below-market loans, secured by a state guarantee, for small business start-ups and veteran-owned small businesses needing capital to expand. 1 VET AT A TIME is now in the lead, vigorously promoting this state-level funding format across the country. Strategically, this approach holds much promise for our military veterans.
Today’s veterans are capable, determined, hard-working, and responsible. They richly deserve the opportunity to realize their dream of small business ownership. Enabling state legislation is pivotal and 1 VET AT A TIME is making it happen.