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Congressman Al Lawson

Representing the 5th District of Florida

Sunshine State News: Al Lawson Calls for Tax Credits for Small Businesses Owned by Veterans Helping Underserved Areas

July 24, 2017
In The News

Towards the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., who is a member of the Military-Veterans Caucus, is leading congressional Democrats on a bill to help veterans start up small businesses.

Lawson brought out the Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act which, his office insists, will “give a boost to veterans who invest in their communities through entrepreneurship.” In his bill, Lawson is calling for giving businesses in underserved communities launched by veterans a small business start-up tax credit.

On Thursday, the North Florida Democrat explained why he had brought out the proposal.

“One of my priorities in Congress is working to ensure our veterans are getting the help they deserve - from job training, to access to health care and education benefits, to finding affordable housing," Lawson said. "Our brave men and women who have fought for our freedom deserve to be taken care of when they return home. This bill aims to help encourage veterans to pursue their dream of starting a small business in our communities around the country.”

Lawson’s legislation has the support of a number of veterans groups including Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, and AMVETS.

“The VFW is proud to support the Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act with the hopes of stimulating economic growth in much needed areas,” said Carlos Fuentes, the director of national legislative service for the VFW. “Giving advantages to veteran-owned small businesses will help strengthen the economy and our commitment to veterans. We are excited to see how this legislation will impact our veterans and our communities for years to come.”

Lawson has reeled in more than 20 co-sponsors including U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY, who leads Democrats on the U.S. House Small Business Committee.

“Due to their discipline and ingenuity, many veterans are a natural fit for entrepreneurship when they re-enter civilian life,” said Velazquez. “Mr. Lawson’s bill will help more veterans pursue dreams of business ownership and especially provide a boost in communities that have struggled economically. I applaud him for authoring this innovative, job creating proposal and look forward to working with him toward its enactment.”