1 VET AT A TIME has been diligently working to address the primary obstacle for post-9/11 veterans owning their own business…lack of access to capital. We have been instrumental in the creation of the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act of 2015 (now 2017) which endeavors to restore the original intent of the GI Bill…full employment. Further, this Act advocates that veterans ought to be able to access their GI Bill benefit for capital to start a business or potentially… expand one.
A few months ago, we appeared before the SBA’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs to strongly express our position. Recently, we became aware of some good news, via the following comment within the 2016 SBA Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs’ annual report wherein it states:
“The SBA should track and follow up on the proposed pilot to study alternative GI Bill usage for business funding to determine if it is feasible and sufficiently drives sustainable assistance to veteran owned small businesses. This should include renewed efforts to establish the proposed GI Bill business development usage from the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition (VET) Act of 2015, S. 1870, reported favorably by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship in December 2016. Based on the outcome of this pilot additional recommendations should be derived.”
Things typically move slowly in DC as to matters of legislative change and especially so as to GI Bill modification. One has to be in for the long haul and 1 VET AT A TIME is exactly of that mindset. This development isn’t a victory message as of yet, but it does represent a positive step forward.
At the state level, 1 VET AT A TIME was instrumental in the unanimous passage of Illinois Senate Bill 324. This groundbreaking state legislation provides veterans with access to low interest business loans with the state functioning as the loan guarantor. We are advancing this legislative model state by state across America. In so doing, we are strongly advocating that primary lenders (community banks) give due consideration to our veterans’ service and sacrifice in the form of more flexibility as to credit score and collateral requirements.