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Stamford's Leone Call For More Support For Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

Carlo Leone
Carlo Leone Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. – Standing side-by-side with veteran small-business owners, state Sen. Carlo Leone (D-Stamford) and other Democrats in the state Senate recently announced plans to give additional support to veteran-owned small businesses.

The proposed bill would give veteran-owned businesses additional bidding preferences under state contracting laws and waive the first year’s business entity tax for start-up veteran-owned businesses.

“First and foremost, I would like to thank the veterans throughout the state for their service to our country and their continued service in their communities,” Leone said. “This bill will go a long way for our veterans who own small businesses or want to start a small business. The Senate Democrats and I have an unwavering commitment to our veterans and this is one piece in a long line of work we have done to help those who have served. As a veteran of the Air Force, I am proud to support this bill and to do more for those that fought for us.”

According to statistics released in January by the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty since September 2001 is 5.7 percent, higher than the national unemployment rate of 4.9 percent. A deeper look at the statistics reveals the national unemployment situation is markedly worse for female post-9/11 veterans, who in January had an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.

The bill would allow the state to give a 15 percent price preference to veteran-owned micro-businesses bidding on state contracts. Currently, the limit is 10 percent to any “micro-business,” which is defined as having revenue of less than $3 million in the previous year. In addition, the bill would provide an exemption, for every new veteran-owned business established on or after July 1, 2016 from the first $250 business entity tax payment it would otherwise owe.

If the bill becomes law, Connecticut will become the 12th state in the country to provide a preference or set aside for veteran-owned businesses when it comes to state contracting. New York and Massachusetts recently have enacted such laws.

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