Veterans looking to start a new business in Illinois now have a new resource available, thanks to legislation supported by state Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood.
The Illinois Finance Authority recently released criteria for the loan program that allows veterans to apply and receive business loans for new companies.
“Our veterans come home with remarkable leadership skills and on-the-job training,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This program will give our returning heroes an outlet to channel their entrepreneurship spirit to create new businesses and generate jobs in our own communities.”
Bertino-Tarrant worked on this program with Lynn Lowder, a former Marine officer and advocate for veterans becoming small-business owners. The program would be similar to agribusiness and farming programs administered by the state treasurer.
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 Military Families.
But now less than 7 percent of returning veterans own their own businesses. Today’s veterans have fewer resources than their predecessors did.
“Our veterans have made great sacrifices to serve 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.”
Bertino-Tarrant urges veterans visit www.il-fa.com to take advantage of this resource or contact her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211 for more information.