Bill aims to help veterans start businesses

Elkhart Truth photo/ Blair YankeyU.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski meets with staff at Express Employment Professionals in Elkhart to discuss bills.

ELKHART — U.S. Rep Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., visited a veteran-owned business on Monday to discuss a bipartisan bill she co-sponsored intended to help veterans start small businesses.

The congresswoman got a tour of the Express Employment Professionals office in Elkhart, which is a staffing company that helps connect job-seekers with employers.

Afterward, she and staff met to discuss her bill, Veteran Entrepreneurs Act, co-sponsored by Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif.

The Veteran Entrepreneurs Act would lower up-front costs for veterans opening a franchise by cutting red tape and creating a tax credit to cover 25 percent of initial franchise fees.

According to the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program, more than 6,500 veterans have become franchise business owners since 2011. The bipartisan bill, which Walorski introduced earlier this year, would help even more veterans do so, her team said.

Walorski said the idea came to her and Brownley after they served on Veterans Affairs committees and heard firsthand what veterans needed and what lawmakers could do better to assist veterans in being successful when they come home.

“There’s so much sacrifice from veterans and their family,” she said. “They come home and the government promises all these great things that they are going to do to greet them, and many times, the government is not holding up to their end of the bargain.”

“This is a way to help continue to say thank you and do everything we can to help veterans get into an entrepreneur position so they can become CEOs and become job creators. It’s just a win-win,” Walorski said.

Norm Robertson is an Air National Guard veteran and owns three Express Employment franchises in Indiana.

Robertson said the bill Walorski’s trying to enact into law would have saved him $25,000 when he first tried opening his business.

“When you’re starting up and you’re trying to get a business going, having those extra dollars could mean opening your business or not opening your business,” he said.

He said 20 percent of people he employs at his organization are veterans and lauded Walorski’s efforts in helping them progress as entrepreneurs.

“The truth is veterans give back to communities in many different ways,” Robertson said. “Having the congresswoman here and being able to shine additional light on the veteran community is tremendous.”

The bill has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee.

(13) comments


Joe, my grand daughter is getting a great education at IUSB, working sevaeral part time jobs and substitute teaching. She will have less than 10,000.00 debt when she graduates in May, which I will pay off for her.

Keep spewing those talking points Joe, you're such a good little comrade.

Joe King

try to read what I said...I know there aren't any pictures...Comrade? I am not in with the Russians like Moscow Mitch or Drumpf and the GOP.....the world is laughing at you


NO ONE can afford an education without a loan, scholarship or "Daddy Warbucks"? What is Daddy Warbucks to you, exactly? Someone who has worked hard, saved and planned for an education for children/grandchildren? Be realistic. Your comments are irresponsible.

Joe King

Free health care, free school, better loans for buying a house, and now better incentives to start a business? Really? If they don't have the expense of healthcare or school loans....that alone should be a plus to start a business.... Try doing it while paying of school loans and not having healthcare because you can't afford it.... She is just pandering to a crowd to get elected....


People always want things to free. A lazy nation. Nobody forces you to get a student loan. You get yourself in debt voluntarily, don't complain. Many of use live within our means, others just whine and ask for things all the time. Try hard labor, at least we know what it is.

Joe King

unless you have daddy warbucks or have a full one, NO ONE can afford a decent 4 year college or even higher education without Student Loans....


yeah right, and now they are talking about some veterans getting their student loans waived. It is always the ones who get themselves in debt who get the perks.


I also know people who have worked their way through school and paid as they go. Your comments are ignorant and baseless.

Joe King

I know there are no pictures, but try to read what I said. 4 year college....price out the top 25 colleges...Average is $34k/year....with the top tier at close to 50-70k per year. Add another 3 years for Higher Ed....No student can work full time and do 16 credit hours (full time). Most schools don't allow it, let a lone a 18-22 year old out of high school making that kind of described working part time and going to school part time.....4 year school is not 5,8,10? Community college is cheap and you can get your basics out of the way, but it isn't a 4 year college....apples v oranges... I'm not even talking about higher ed (3 years), law school (3 years), or PhD (4-7 years) plus residency...


Why do you hate our vets Joe. Typical crying Lib, we need our college education and health care paid for. Where have I heard that before? From every idiot running for President as a Democrat/Socialist.

Joe King

Typical...making up words to suit your mentality....just like Drumpf and the GOP.... How's that invasion and wall coming? Mexico Paying for it yet?


IUSB is a 4 year school Joe. Try to inform yourself a little before talking trash to us common hard working people.


In these days everybody appears to start a business. And most of them 'go out of business' not that long after. Which we business people would get help, we give to the community, others don't. It is just a fancy saying.

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