WASHINGTON (CBS19 NEWS) -- The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would help veteran entrepreneurs grown their businesses and expand economic opportunity.
The bill was introduced by Senator Tammy Duckworth and cosponsored by Senator Tim Kaine.
The Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act now heads to the U.S. House.
According to a release, the legislation would allow veteran small business owners to buy equipment and property that the federal government no longer has a use for by adding veterans to the list of eligible recipients for federal surplus personal property.
“When the men and women who have tirelessly served our nation come home and begin new careers in their communities, we owe them our support,” said Kaine. “That's why one of my top priorities in the Senate has been easing servicemembers' transition from active duty to the civilian workforce.”
The General Services Administration oversees the distribution of federal surplus personal property in partnership with the Small Business Administration and State Agencies for Surplus Property through the Federal Surplus Property Donation Program.
Across the United States, there are more than 2.5 million veteran-owned small businesses, including about 76,000 in Virginia.
Those numbers are expected to grow as more Iraq and Afghanistan-era veterans transition out of military service and into civilian fields.
Provisions from other legislation that Kaine has introduced were signed into law as part of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, including regulations to reduce military spouse unemployment and support military families with children.