Cline introduces bill to increase opportunities for veterans
Congressman Ben Cline (R-VA-06) joined Lou Correa (D-CA) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) in introducing H.R. 4433, the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act of 2021.
The legislation would allow veterans the opportunity to pursue their small business and entrepreneurial aspirations by giving them access to resources through the Small Business Administration and their GI Bill benefit.
The key components of the Veteran Entrepreneurship Act are:
The establishment of a three-year pilot program overseen by the Administrator of the Small Business Administration that will enable up to 250 GI Bill benefit-eligible veterans to pursue an educational entrepreneurial training program.
The pilot program includes a thorough application process and requires participation in an approved entrepreneurial training program.
Veterans are required to develop a business plan to be approved by their training program advisor and the SBA’s Associate Administrator for Veterans Business Development.
The grant available to veterans participating in this pilot program may be equivalent to the GI Bill maximum amount of 36 months of educational assistance at the rate in effect for each veteran through the GI Bill benefit program.
If approved, the grant can be used by a veteran to open their own business or purchase a franchise.
“Veterans face a daunting mission when they separate from service and transition into civilian life,” Cline said. “Higher education is essential for many, but some have a different calling. Veterans are seeking more options and want the choice to use their GI Bill benefit to start their own business.
“It’s common sense to offer veterans a choice in accessing resources, training, and support to pursue the American dream to start a small business, create jobs, and generate growth in our economy. I thank Congressmen Correa and Fortenberry for joining me in this effort to give back to those who have given so much in service to our country,” Cline said.
“By helping veterans start businesses, we are investing in America’s best and brightest,” Correa said. “When our servicemembers transition into civilian life, they bring considerable skills and experiences with them. Each is a trained leader who has proven they can get things done in the most stressful environments. Veterans know how to manage risk on the battlefield. That’s what soldiers train to do. And that’s what a successful entrepreneur does — manage risk.
“Our veterans are uniquely capable of contributing to our communities. I’m proud to join with Rep. Ben Cline to introduce bipartisan legislation that invests in entrepreneur veterans and encourages them to pursue the American Dream,” Correa said.
“Veteran-owned businesses represent nearly 10 percent of U.S. small businesses, employing more than 5 million Americans,” Fortenberry said. “I am pleased to support the reintroduction of the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act to give our veterans access to entrepreneurial training and capital through the use of their G.I. Bill benefits.”
Text of the bill can be found here.