VA Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Rep. McNerney’s Bill to Protect Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses
Washington, DC – Today the House Veterans’ Affairs subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a hearing on a bill authored by Rep. Jerry McNerney to protect small businesses owned by disabled veterans in the event that the business owner passes away, by providing a transition period during which the business would keep its service disabled veteran-owned small business status and any Department of Veterans Affairs contracts associated with that status.
“My bill protects the families of our disabled veterans who own and operate small businesses,” said Rep. McNerney. “Without this legislation, any VA contracts that a service disabled veteran owned small business holds would be in jeopardy when the veteran-owner passes away. The business could very well go bankrupt without those contracts, creating an unnecessary financial hardship for the late veteran’s family and co-owners.”
Several Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) offered their support of Rep. McNerney’s bill, including the VFW, American Legion, Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Paralyzed Veterans of America.
The VFW said in a statement “The VFW supports this legislation, which would allow the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran business owner to continue operating the business as a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB) for a period of three years following the veteran’s death. (This bill is) a necessary protection that allows for a transition period for the bereaved spouse to restructure the business as necessary.”
The Paralyzed Veterans of America PVA also supports the bill, saying in its statement that the bill “will allow the business to retain the SDVOSB status for three years upon the passing of the veteran to allow for a transition of the business. This three year period would apply to SDVOSB contracts with the VA and all federal agencies.”
The transition period would last 10 years after the veteran-owner’s death, if the veteran were either 100 percent disabled or died from a service-connected disability and three years in all other cases.
A Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) must be at least 51 percent owned by a veteran who is rated as 100 percent disabled according to the Veterans Administration. Under current law, when the veteran and small business owner passes away, the surviving family members and business owners are not guaranteed any time to transition away from SDVOSB status, putting the businesses in jeopardy of losing any federal contracts they might have. Last year, there were an estimated 500,000 SDVOSBs in the U.S.