Business owners lose when called to Guard

June 5, 2005 at 4:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 5 (UPI) -- Many U.S. small-business owners called up by the National Guard at short notice find themselves deeply in debt or forced to close the business.

While an employee's job is protected by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act when called up by the military, small-business owners have little support to help them save their companies, reported the Washington Post Sunday.

"When you get mobilized in the National Guard, they go through to make sure you have power of attorneys, all your affairs are in order, you have insurance, make sure your wife knows what to do. That's all real good if you're not an owner of a business," said Stanley Adams, a small business owner. "But it doesn't affect business credit cards or business loans or business notes."

Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., has introduced a bill in the House to provide tax credits of up to $42,000 for employers who lose key employees to active duty, including themselves.

A loan program by the Small Business Administration is designed to help small business owners serving in military service to recover some losses, but the loan program is not enough, an SBA official acknowledged.

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