20180314 KS 3900 RSSPRINGFIELD – A new measure in the Illinois Senate aims to give veterans the tools to launch business start-ups in Illinois.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the sponsor of the measure, Senate Bill 43, which strengthens the veteran small business loan program that was enacted last legislative session under her leadership.

Senate Bill 43 ties up a technicality to allow for the administration of loans and expands upon the existing program to help encourage Illinois’ veterans to open up shop in communities across the state. It will also allow the Illinois Finance Authority to administer an increase in low-interest agri-business loans.

“Illinois’s economy relies heavily on small businesses,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Expanding the scope of this vital veterans loan program will help encourage our returning heroes to consider a profession in agriculture.”

Nearly half of World War II veterans and 40 percent of Korean War veterans went on to own or operate a business, according to Syracuse University‘s Institute for Veterans and MilitaryFamilies. But now less than seven percent of returning veterans own their own businesses, in part because veterans have fewer resources than their predecessors did.

“Our veterans have made great sacrifices for our country,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It’s our duty to empower them to channel the life skills and training they received in the field as they transition back to civilian life.”

Senate Bill 43 passed out of the Illinois Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee Thursday with bipartisan support and will move to the full Senate for consideration.  

Bertino-Tarrant urges veterans to visit www.il-fa.com to learn more about this veteran loan program or contact her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211 for more information.

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