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Bertino-Tarrant legislation creates Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Loan Program

jbt vetloanSPRINGFIELD— Legislation that would help veterans become business owners was passed out of the Illinois Senate today by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

“There are many veterans who heroically serve our nation, gain valuable leadership and management skills yet can have a hard time starting a new career when they come home,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “My plan would help our veterans get the start-up capital they need to start their own businesses and create jobs for others.”

Bertino-Tarrant is working on her proposal with Lynn Lowder, a former Marine officer and advocate for veterans becoming small-business owners.

“In the nine years following World War II, 50 percent of veterans ended up in business for themselves,” Lowder said. “Unfortunately, fewer veterans now are able to start a business. This initiative is the key missing piece that would give our veterans the tools they need to become entrepreneurs.”

Today, less than seven percent of returning veterans own their own businesses.

Nearly 550 service members transition from military to civilian life each day, and an estimated 1 million veterans will settle into communities across our country within the next three to five years.

“When our veterans come home, we need to make sure our veterans have the full support of our state as their service deserves,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring Senate Bill 324 that would create a program at the Illinois Finance Authority that would allow veterans to apply and receive a business loan. The program would be similar to agribusiness and farming programs administered by the State Treasurer.

Bertino-Tarrant advanced Senate Bill 324 out of the Illinois Senate today. It will now go to the Illinois House for approval.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Mark Batinick; Natalie A. Manley

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education (Chairperson); Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Transportation.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.