FRANKFORT — State Rep. Rick Nelson participated in the ceremonial signing of legislation that created a disabled veteran-owned business certification program on Friday at the Capitol.
“I couldn’t be happier working to promote veteran-owned small businesses,” said Nelson (Harlan-Bell), who co-sponsored the legislation. “It’s been well documented that veterans make great business owners. And given the reality that thousands of veterans call Kentucky home, it is vital that policymakers continue to think about veterans as they look to incentivize small business growth and expansion.”
The legislation, known as House Bill 183, created a disabled veteran-owned business certification program. It defines what a disabled veteran-owned business is and provides for the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Contract Compliance to oversee the program. The idea is to provide certification of disabled veteran-owned businesses in order to encourage growth among businesses owned by disabled veterans within Kentucky.
Nelson said an important, but sometimes overlooked, provision of the legislation provides assistance to disabled veteran-owned businesses in competing for work in other states that require certification by a statewide body.
“There are veterans across the Commonwealth looking to small businesses for opportunities,” he said.
Nelson cited a 2011 report from the Small Business Administration that found veterans are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than those without military experience. Interestingly, of that 45 percent, veterans with only a single enlistment were the most likely to own a business, according to the report.
Nearly 60 Kentucky companies are already certified at the federal level, according to the executive branch. The new law is designed to encourage those businesses to apply for Kentucky certification with a streamlined application process. The application is available online at vetbiz.ky.gov.