Illinois State Representative Wayne Rosenthal found success in his efforts to support veteran-owned businesses. House Bill 2288 was passed unanimously by the Illinois House of Representatives, which will make it easier for veteran-owned small businesses to compete for state contracts.
The Veterans Business Program, designed to help veteran-owned small businesses access state contracts, was struggling with low numbers of eligible businesses. In FY21, only 15% of previously eligible businesses qualified for the program, as the limits for gross sales were too low. With House Bill 2288, Rosenthal has proposed doubling the limit for annual gross sales to less than $150 million, from the previous limit of less than $75 million established in 2011. This change reflects the significant rise in construction prices, which have increased by 50-70% since 2011.
Rosenthal, who is a veteran himself, served in the Illinois Air National Guard and the United States Air Force, eventually becoming a Brigadier General. For him, this legislation is personal and important for supporting veterans in the business world.
"When our veterans have more job opportunities after their service, it's good for our state and our economy," said Rosenthal. "I want to thank my colleagues in the House for supporting this legislation with unanimous support and I look forward to it passing the Senate with strong support as well."