Peters Cosponsors Bill Supporting Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters, a member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, today announced that he is cosponsoring legislation to help veteran-owned small businesses access federal surplus equipment such as computers, office equipment, and vehicles. The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act of 2015 would allow veterans who own small businesses to participate in the General Services Administration’s Federal Surplus Property Program and obtain federal surplus property for only the cost of shipping and handling. 

“America’s servicemembers demonstrate dogged determination, perseverance, and resolve – the same qualities that make for a successful entrepreneur,” said Senator Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve. “We must uphold our promise to support our men and women in uniform both during and after their service. This bipartisan, commonsense legislation would help veteran small business owners access equipment to start and grow their business and thrive after transitioning to civilian life.”

“I thank Senator Peters for his support of this legislation to help our brave men and women in uniform achieve success as entrepreneurs in civilian life,” said Tyrone Chatman, Executive Director of the Michigan Veterans Foundation. “Veterans have what it takes to build successful businesses, and this bill will equip them with the support and supplies they need to run their operations efficiently and cost-effectively.”   

“It is no question that our nation’s veterans have the passion, drive, and exceptional work ethic to be successful entrepreneurs and business owners following their service in uniform,” said Matt Sherwood, Executive Director of VetBizCentral. “The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act will ensure that these heroes have access to critical equipment – at an affordable price –  so they can open and operate thriving businesses that benefit our communities and contribute to our economy.”

There are 66,765 veteran-owned small businesses in Michigan that would become eligible to participate in the program and have access to surplus property.  Minority-owned small businesses have participated in this program since 1999, but veteran-owned businesses are not currently eligible.

Other entities participating in the Federal Surplus Property Program include: state and public agencies; nonprofit educational and public health activities, such as hospitals child care centers, public museums, and free libraries; public airports; the U.S. Olympic Committee; and educational activities of special interest to the Armed Services, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Boy Scouts of America, Marine Cadets of America and National Civilian Community Corps.