Tue Nov 11, 5:44 PM ET
WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today sent a letter to SBA Administrator Hector Barreto asking him to do more to promote the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) program.
"Our reserve forces are carrying heavy burdens both at home and in the field," Kerry wrote. "Many reservists have been called up far longer than expected -- putting a severe strain on them, their families, and their small-business employers. I want to be sure our reservists and the small businesses that employ them know we are doing our utmost to minimize their financial worries."
In the letter, Kerry also urged Barreto to support the Small Business Military Reservist Tax Credit Act (S.1595), which Kerry introduced in September. This bill complements the MREIDL program by providing a tax credit to small businesses that make up the difference in pay for reservist employees called up and for hiring a temporary replacement.
"For small business owners, active service can be very disruptive when their reservist employees are suddenly called away from their families and jobs to serve our country," Kerry said. "We need to help these men and women and their businesses bridge the productivity and financial gap between troop deployment and the reservists' return to work."
The MREIDL program was introduced by Kerry in 1999 -- and enacted under Public Law 106-50, the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act -- to assist the thousands of small businesses that suffer when reservist employees are deployed.