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Rep. Brat and Rep. Murphy Introduce Legislation to Remove Barriers to Capital for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

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Washington, June 8, 2017 | Juliana Heerschap (202-225-2815) | comments
WASHINGTON - Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) introduced the bipartisan Veteran Small Business Export Promotion Act. This legislation codifies the current policy of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to waive the SBA loan program’s up-front fee for export-specific loans of up to $150,000 for borrowers who are veterans or their spouses. This policy was started in 2013, and while renewed annually, it is set to expire on September 30, 2017. This bill will build upon the Veterans Entrepreneurship Act signed into law during the previous Congress and will ensure SBA export programs (Export Express, Export Working Capital and International Trade loans) that award loans of less than $150,000 are exempted from the 3 percent up-front fees.

Rep. Brat said, “When the men and women who have served our country return home to their local communities, many take the leadership skills and training they acquired in the military and start a small business. Often the biggest hurdle these veteran entrepreneurs face is access to capital to start and grow their businesses. This bill will codify current SBA practices and ensure over 76,000 veteran-owned small businesses in Virginia have the opportunity to utilize SBA’s export loan programs and are exempted from the up-front fees.”

“Making it easier for veterans to grow their businesses not only helps to boost our economy and create jobs, but also ensures that more of our service men and women will have a successful transition to civilian life,” said Rep. Murphy. “By simply codifying the existing practice of exempting veterans from paying fees in order to participate in SBA’s export loan programs, this bill will allow thousands of veteran-owned businesses to invest more of their hard-earned money towards the growth of their enterprise. Our country has a long-standing tradition of recognizing and rewarding the heroism and sacrifice of our veterans, and supporting their entrepreneurial aspirations is chief among the ways that we can show our gratitude.”

A companion bill cosponsored by Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) has been introduced in the Senate.

This legislation has been endorsed by the following organizations: American Legion, National Veteran-Owned Business Association, National Small Business Association, Small Business Exporters Association, Independent Community Bankers Association, the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Full text of the bill here.
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