The Community, Economic, and Recreational Development Committee of the state Senate advanced legislation introduced by Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) that would assist Pennsylvania military veterans in starting or expanding a business.
“This is another way the commonwealth can support its veterans, who have given so much by serving our nation,” Mastriano said. “In Pennsylvania communities, veteran-owned businesses provide economic opportunities and well-paying employment. Numerous veterans depart the military with the skills and leadership qualities necessary to launch a business. This program will assist Pennsylvania veterans gain access to the capital they need to start a business.”
Senate Bill 248 would create, within the Pennsylvania Financing Authority, the Veteran-Owned Business Loan Guarantee Program. The initiative would be funded by $5 million from an existing Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development program.
The measure defines a veteran-owned business as one that is at least 51 percent owned or controlled by one or more veterans.
Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that veteran-owned enterprises account for nearly 6% of all American businesses. These companies employ nearly four million individuals and pay out more than $175 billion annually.
After receiving committee approval, Senate Bill 248 was re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which will prepare a fiscal note detailing the bill’s fiscal impact on the Commonwealth. The committee must generate the fiscal note and endorse the measure before the full Senate can consider it.
This measure to support veteran-owned businesses has taken a significant stride forward in the legislative process, and I’m thrilled to see it moving forward, as stated by Mastriano. “I will continue to push for passage of this bill so that Pennsylvania can provide much-needed assistance to veteran-owned businesses.”