Obama Signs Veterans Job Stimulus Bill

President Barack Obama signed into law Monday a jobs stimulus bill favored by foodservice industry associations that provides tax credits to businesses that hire unemployed veterans.

The VOW to Hire Heroes Act offers a tax credit of up to $5,600 for businesses that hire veterans who have been unemployed for up to six months. A tax credit of $2,400 also is available to employers who hire veterans who have been out of work for more than four weeks but less than six months.

In addition, the legislation provides a tax credit of as much as $9,600 for hiring veterans with service-related disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months.

The House passed the measure on Nov. 17 by a vote of 422 to 0, while the Senate passed it by a vote of 95 to 0 on Nov. 10.

After the House passed the measure last week, Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government for the National Restaurant Association, said: "Throughout the economic downturn, we have been one of the few industries that has continued growing, providing quality jobs that lead to fulfilling careers in our industry and others.

"The restaurant industry provides great opportunities for post-military culinary and management careers, as well as ownership opportunities, and with the right policies, such as small business tax assistance to hire unemployed veterans, we will be able to create even more jobs and provide greater opportunities to more Americans," he said.

Following the legislation's passage in the Senate, Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive of the International Franchise Association, said: "These tax credits are an important step toward reducing the unemployment rate of our nation's service men and women. IFA believes these tax credits will further lend a hand to the franchise industry's commitment to hire and recruit veterans as employees and successful franchise small business owners.

"These tax credits will help put veterans toward the front of the line for franchise businesses," he added.

The IFA also said it supports the Franchise Education for Veterans Act, which would enable veterans looking to purchase a franchise business to utilize up to $15,000 in GI bill funds to pay for franchise education and training programs.

Contact Paul Frumkin at paul.frumkin@penton.com.