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Macungie, PA 18062
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Topton, PA 19562
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Harrisburg, PA 17120-2134
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Mackenzie Bill to Assist Veterans in Starting New Businesses Heads to Governor’s Desk
HARRISBURG – Legislation introduced by Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) that would help assist veterans who wish to start their own businesses is headed to the governor’s desk after passing the House unanimously today.

House Bill 1600, known as “Startups for Soldiers,” would waive state business startup fees for individuals transitioning to the civilian workforce from the United States Armed Forces, including reserve units and the National Guard.  It is based on a similar program that has been successful in Missouri.   

“Promoting entrepreneurship among veterans benefits both those who served and our state’s economy,” said Mackenzie. “Removing barriers to business startups would empower veterans to establish businesses and creating good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for their fellow Pennsylvanians.”

After honorably serving our country, many veterans have had difficulty finding private-sector employment.  During the height of the Great Recession, the unemployment rate among veterans was nearly 25 percent higher than the general population.  That gap has narrowed significantly, largely thanks to programs encouraging employers to hire former service members. Still, employment for one group of veterans continues to lag – those who enlisted after 9/11.  These post-9/11 veterans generally have less non-military career experience than older veterans, making it more difficult to compete in the employment marketplace.

“Individuals who served in uniform have valuable skills that often aren’t fully appreciated or understood outside a military context,” said Mackenzie.  “Assisting veterans – particularly those who served after 9/11 – to put those skills to work in businesses of their own is yet another tool as we seek to reduce the unemployment rate among people who sacrificed so much for our country.”

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Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Ryan Travis
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