Connecticut is looking to set aside 5% of state contracts for Veteran-owned businesses according to a report from The Day military news outlet. While it makes sense on the surface, the proposal has been voted down before. The big issue is whether or not enough Veteran-owned businesses exist in the state to support such a legislation. Although Rep. Stephen Harding, the bill’s author argues there are, some are not convinced.
According to Michael Zacchea, Connecticut Veterans Chamber of Commerce “there are 31,000 veteran-owned businesses in Connecticut and 10,000 partially owned veteran businesses. A veteran-owned business is defined as one that is 51 percent owned by a veteran or veterans.” This may be true, but it is hard to quantify how many of those 31,000 can handle the job of a state contract.
As an outsider, I have no idea how much in total spend this means for Connecticut, but I support it nonetheless. If there aren’t enough veteran organizations to support the 5% goal, this makes it a desirable place for veteran owned companies in other areas to move to. It is an excellent selling point and can be a measuring stick for alot of veteran organizations looking to expand their business. Maybe partnerships or mergers will happen to account for the excess money.
With 5%, many positives things can happen for the veteran community and I believe the lack of support from the state is terrible. Currently less than 30 states have legislation pending or passed for veteran owned businesses. Why there aren’t more is a huge question we must all asked and honestly be upset with the answer. Veteran owned businesses need more support and more opportunities, and it’s up to us to promote it.