By LESLIE COLLINS
November 28, 2012
Veterans returning home from war face a number of challenges, including finding employment in the civilian world.
To help honorably discharged veterans find employment, the city of Kansas City, Mo., is now creating a hiring preference for veterans.
“It is important to prepare for the thousands of veterans who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” said City Council member Scott Taylor. “As a city, we can do more to create opportunities for our returning veterans.”
The hiring preference will span across all city departments for honorably discharged veterans who served in the military for at least six months, he said.
To further assist veterans, the city has set aside $200,000 in its microloan program to help veterans start their own business. Microloans can range from $500 to $50,000, but the average loan is $8,000 to $10,000, Taylor said. A number of veterans may not qualify for traditional loans, but can qualify for microloans, he said. Taylor said the city wants to help veterans turn a business idea into reality through the microloan program.
“The nice thing about these (microloans) is you could literally start a business out of your own house. That’s a big trend we’re seeing during these difficult economic times,” he said. “It’s a way for someone to start a business, but not have to borrow an excessive amount of money to open up a new storefront.”
If the $200,000 set aside for veterans is used up quickly, the city can find additional funding, he said.
“We will go back and get more money. That’s not an issue,” he said. “I think we can all agree that our veterans have served our country well. My hope is that we can continue to help them in return for the brave service that they’ve provided for our country.”
To find out more about the microloan program, contact the city’s Bizcare Office, (816) 513-2492.
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Bizcare is located at 1118 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.