WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators John Kennedy (R-La.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced bipartisan legislation Tuesday to help expand economic opportunity for military veterans who are small business owners. The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act would allow veterans to acquire equipment and property that the federal government no longer has a use for by adding them to the list of eligible recipients for federal surplus property. The list already includes women and minority small business owners as well as Veterans Service Organizations. “Our nation’s heroes deserve every bit of support we can give when they return home from their service,” said Sen. Kennedy.
“This bill empowers veteran entrepreneurs by increasing their access to affordable equipment and property. Helping veterans’ small businesses succeed will help create jobs and grow our economy. I will continue to work for the men and women who have devoted their lives to serve and protect our country.” “Part of honoring the sacrifice our nation’s veterans have made means supporting them when they return home,” said Sen. Durbin. “That is why I am proud to join Senators Tammy Duckworth and John Kennedy in introducing the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, which would encourage small business growth and give veterans opportunities to succeed at home.” The General Services Administration (GSA) has overseen distribution of federal surplus property for 15 years in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASP). When there is no federal need for excess property, SASPs disburse the property to eligible recipients who otherwise may have been unable to acquire it. This legislation is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property (NASASP).