Military spouses could get small businesses training under bipartisan Tillis bill

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) recently cosponsored a bipartisan bill that would require the administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA) to establish and carry out a program that assists military spouses in establishing small businesses.

“I have always been a strong advocate for increasing employment opportunities for military spouses who serve our country by supporting their husband or wife, including those who hope to start their own small business,” Sen. Tillis said on June 28. “I am proud to co-introduce this legislation to create a training program to expand career opportunities wherever military families are stationed.” 

The Military Spouse Entrepreneurship Act of 2023, S. 2000, which Sen. Tillis introduced on June 14 alongside bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would specifically direct the SBA to create a training program that would help military spouses start, develop, and operate their own small businesses.

The lawmakers cited a 2022 report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showing that military spouses face an unemployment rate of 22 percent, making them one of the highest unemployed demographics in the nation. 

The bill has been endorsed by the Association of Military Spouse Entrepreneurs, the Center for American Entrepreneurship, Instant Teams, VetsinTech, and the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.

The bill has been referred to the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee for consideration.