Need supplies for your new business? This new law can help

Elizabeth Howe
February 08, 2019 - 12:07 pm

© TNS

When Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012, she had a new office to open. Instead of using the taxpayer's dollar to purchase new furniture and supplies, she went to a Government Surplus Accounting (GSA) warehouse and furnished her new office at no expense. Then, as an Army veteran herself, she started wondering — why don’t we give veterans access to these warehouses too?

Now, veterans have that access. 

The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, which was signed into law earlier this month, allows veteran small business owners to acquire pieces of equipment and property that the federal government has placed in GSA warehouses.

"I hope that this makes it a little easier for a veteran to start and maintain a business," Duckworth said. "So they don't have to spend money buying laptops and furniture and all of those things that take up your capital so you can use that capital to sustain your business. Capital is so important for businesses in the early stages, and I want to promote veterans being able to become entrepreneurs, owning their own businesses, hiring other veterans, and enjoying success. They've earned it."

Through her work on veteran employment, Duckworth has found that the greatest predictor of a veteran becoming homeless is lack of access to a job. She has also found that veterans are twice as likely to start their own companies as civilians.

This law will help combat veteran homelessness by affording veterans the resources they need to start and maintain lucrative businesses, an endeavor that veterans are certainly well-suited for. 

"They are able to work independently, they are brave, they are calculated risk-takers, and they've gone into the unknown before," Duckworth said. 

To see what resources your state has to offer, visit the State Agencies for Surplus Property website.

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