Assembly bill aimed at business-owning veterans with disabilities

Dante Acosta

Assemblyman Dante Acosta introduced a bill Thursday to aid veterans with disabilities who own businesses in California.

These specific type of businesses currently have a cap of $250,000 when competing in streamlined bidding for contracts against larger businesses, but Assembly Bill 632 would raise the cap to $500,000.

“Disabled veterans have given selflessly to our country and community,” Acosta said in a statement. “It’s only right we allow them greater freedom to compete with big corporations for contracts that will enable their businesses to succeed.”

The bill aims to allow these veterans with disability-owned businesses to grow their businesses and hire more people, according to Acosta’s office.

California also provides three percent of their state contract spending to business owners who are veterans with disabilities, Acosta’s office said.

To qualify, the veteran business owner must have become disabled due to a service-related incident and be verified as at least “10 percent” disabled by the Veterans Association. Additionally, the business must be at least 51 percent owned by a veteran who is disabled.

Catherine Grooms, the Director of the Small Business Development Center hosted by College of the Canyons, said the bill would be beneficial for the business owners who are veterans with disabilities. The center works with small businesses by providing workshops, trainings, networking and one-on-one consulting.

“Increasing the cap gives them a competitive edge,” Grooms said. “It would allow them to increase their sales, invest more in their businesses and create and retain more jobs.”

There are hundreds of veterans who own businesses in many different fields in the Santa Clarita Valley, many of whom live with disabilities, according to Grooms.

“It would be an excellent position for them to be in to diversify their customer base,” she said. “The veteran business owners are reflective of the diversity of our client base.”

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