April 20, 2023

Duckworth Hosts First Veteran-Owned Small Business Surplus Summit

Duckworth’s Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, now law, gives Veteran business owners access to federal surplus property


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today with the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) hosted the first ever Virtual Surplus Property Summit for Veteran-owned small businesses. Thanks to her bipartisan Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, which is now law, Veteran entrepreneurs can acquire equipment and property that the federal government no longer has a use for at little to no cost through the Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) Federal Surplus program.

“I’m so proud to see my Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act at work right here in Illinois,” Duckworth said. “This program is doing exactly was it was designed to—connecting Veteran small business owners with surplus federal property to help their businesses thrive, expand and create good-paying, local jobs. Veterans are twice as likely to start or lead their own companies as civilians, but the number of Veterans leading their own companies is plummeting as compared to generations past. I hope this program will help to reverse this trend. Illinois’s pilot program has been a success, so I look forward to more Veterans utilizing these benefits in the months and years to come.”

Duckworth and her office co-sponsored today’s virtual event with CMS Director Raven DeVaughn and CMS Deputy Director Brent Boesdorfer to share with Veteran business owners an overview of the VOSB federal surplus program, what surplus property is available and offer a review of the registration, request and compliance processes.

Duckworth’s Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, which was signed into law in 2019, allows Veteran small business owners to acquire equipment and personal property that the federal government no longer has a use for by adding Veterans to the list of eligible recipients for federal surplus personal property. The General Services Administration (GSA) has overseen distribution of federal surplus personal property for 15 years in partnership with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and State Agencies for Surplus Property (SASP) through the Federal Surplus Property Donation Program. When there is no federal need for excess personal property, SASPs disburse the property to eligible recipients who otherwise may have been unable to acquire it.

Thousands of items valued at a total of over $15 million have been acquired by VOSBs, helping Veteran entrepreneurs grow their small businesses, create local jobs and expand economic opportunity while minimizing costs for the business owners. Veteran small business owners in Illinois can learn more about this program here.