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May 29, 2016 12:15 PM

Bill would help National Guard members in business

CONCORD (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire has introduced a bill to improve access to Small Business Administration programs for members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Despite their benefits, the programs, introduced in 1999, remain low in use because little is known about them.

Shaheen's bill, co-sponsored by fellow Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, would restructure the programs so that they are not limited to periods of conflict, reflecting the shift reserve forces have experienced over the past decade from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve.

The bill also would direct the SBA to work with the National Guard Bureau and State Adjutant Generals to identify existing SBA programs relevant to members of the Guard and Reserves, and develop more targeted and effective outreach, particularly prior to deployment.

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