Committee on Small Business Hearing Highlights Importance of Supporting Veteran Owned Small Businesses
Washington, May 24, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Roger Williams (R-TX) led a full Committee on Small Business hearing titled “Saluting Service: Supporting Veteran Owned Small Businesses.” Chairman Williams issued the following statement after concluding today’s hearing.
“Today’s hearing spotlighted the importance of supporting veterans as they start their own small businesses and transition back into civilian life,” said Chairman Williams. “The stories of what our veterans have accomplished are nothing short of extraordinary, and it is vital that we hear about the challenges they go through to make the road to success more attainable for future servicemembers. As Chairman of the House Committee on Small Business, I look forward to continually supporting America’s veterans by breaking through bureaucratic red tape and supporting pro-growth policies here in Congress.”
Watch the full hearing here.
Below are some key excerpts from today’s hearing:
Rep. Bean: “What's the challenge right now? Is it space? I know space is a challenge. Tell us about some of the challenges you’re facing right now.” Ms. Liberty Weaver: “So raising capital for Breakable Hearts. We've outgrown working from home. We have a lot of clients who want to utilize our services, but we don't have the employees. And we've looked into getting loans, into expanding, and to growing into a new space. But when you have a bakery, you have to have employees. You have to have a commercial kitchen outfitted specifically for what you're baking… It is expensive and the down payment alone is almost upwards of $100,000 to secure the loan. So it's not something financially feasible for me at this point. And I can't find the capital or the resources to get the capital to move forward.”
Rep. Alford: “While the Small Business Administration has programs, as we've talked about, helping veterans, they're not always utilized, as we've already heard. And we need to find out why that is and how do we change them so they are utilized. … Does the veteran community know about these programs? Do we need to do a better job advertising them or have veterans tried these and they just don’t work out for whatever reason? What can the SBA do better? What are some changes that we need to help with?” Mr. Taylor Burks: “What we’ve seen at Rost Inc. is that access to capital requires certain guarantees and there's no real certainty from us. You know, there’s no real benefit to us to use the SBA loan program. Where we’ve been successful again, is private equity investors in mid-Missouri, who we go to talk to the idea, talk about our idea, and they understand that either they or us are going to guarantee that loan. If Rost Inc. was a new business, if we were starting up, not an established business, those expansion ideas wouldn’t happen. You know, our $10 million investment in a new outdoor entertainment complex in mid-Missouri wouldn’t happen if I had to go to the SBA for a loan guarantee. And that’s the reality of it.”
Rep. Crane: “Mr. Quezada, I know that we have tough economic times right now with record inflation, high interest rates and labor shortages. How have you navigated this economy and continued to grow your business?” Mr. Grant Quezada: “Speaking of the upcoming kind of economic forecasts that were seeing over the next several quarters into probably Q2 of 2024, I think really what you’ll end up seeing largely within the small business community is probably an increase in price at some level to offset the cost of what we've seen when it comes to higher prices in gas or eggs on the shelf, or any other areas where we're seeing or feeling the crunch on an economic level within our own pocketbooks.”