Senate passes Richardville veterans legislation
LANSING - The Senate approved legislation Wednesday that will honor Michigan's military veterans who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts by providing them with helpful services for their small business operations, said Sen. Randy Richardville, sponsor of the legislation.
"A number of veterans and active-duty service members in the U.S. armed forces own and operate small businesses in Michigan and across the nation," said Richardville, R-Monroe. "They play a very important part in America's small business success. This legislation will help acknowledge their role in protecting our country by providing them with a variety of vital business services."
Senate Bill 732 will establish a "Michigan Patriot Business" designation for companies having at least 50 percent ownership by one or more active service members or veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan conflicts. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. would promote these businesses on its Web site, and the Michigan Strategic Fund would maintain a list of the qualified businesses.
The bill will also help provide the businesses with assistance for developmental and expansion projects; application processes for federal grants; the creation of partnerships with professional trade organizations; and business contract procurement with governmental and private sources.
Richardville said one of the main goals of the measure is to provide support for those in the service upon returning home.
"Newly discharged veterans often experience problems starting up or expanding business operations," Richardville said. "These problems not only affect the veteran business owner, but the economic well-being of his or her family as well. It is absolutely critical for us to stand behind the courageous men and women who serve our nation. This is one way to demonstrate our support as they return home."
Approximately 15 percent of veterans are self-employed and about the same percentage of small business owners are veterans. They make significant contributions to the state and national economies each year.
The bill will now advance to the state House for consideration.
Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2007
Print friendly version Email this page