By Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh/Berks)
With November commemorating Veterans Day and highlighting National Veterans Small Business Week, I wanted to spotlight a program I created to help those veterans seeking to start a business in Pennsylvania.
The Startups for Soldiers program was signed into law in 2016. It waives state business startup fees for individuals transitioning to the civilian workforce from the United States Armed Forces, as well as those serving in reserve units and the National Guard. It is based on a similar program that’s been successful in Missouri.
After honorably serving our country, many veterans have had difficulty finding private sector employment. Promoting entrepreneurship among veterans benefits everyone. Removing barriers to business startups will empower veterans to become their own bosses while creating good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for their fellow Pennsylvanians. It also fosters innovation, allowing them to apply the extensive leadership and organizational skills learned in the military.
Through the program, veterans who are starting a business can have the filing fees to register a new business eliminated. In addition, certain license fees are also waived. By creating a program that is pro-business and pro-veteran, we are helping to stimulate the economy, create jobs and give back a little to those who have served our country.
The success of this program has been amazing. Since January 2017, more than 3,700 veteran and reservist business owners in Pennsylvania have saved $416,00 in business start-up and licensing fees.
Our veterans and their families have sacrificed a great deal for us, and this is one small way in which we can tangibly help them when they return and are looking to start a new chapter in their lives here in the Commonwealth.
More information on the Startup for Soldiers program can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of State website at dos.pa.gov
Representative Ryan Mackenzie
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman