By Jackson Hughes
Editor’s note: This is the 19th in a series of stories about new laws that are taking effect, most of them on July 1.
INDIANAPOLIS — Veterans who want to start a business in Indiana could open their doors faster when a new law goes into effect next month.
“Essentially, I wanted to eliminate the federal government from the process, and leave it up to our state,” said Rep. Doug Gutwein, R-Franceville. “That way, the process of applying can be shorter and less painful.”
Gutwein, the author of the bill, wants to make it easier for veterans to jump back into business after returning to civilian life. He hopes that by eliminating federal government paperwork, the application process will be shorter.
However, Charles Hessman, a veteran and business owner in Franklin, said faster might not be better.
“I don’t think quicker would be better, because starting a business should not be a fast paced process,” Hessman said.
Hessman argued business owners should take their time and learn what they’re getting themselves into. He started his T-shirt business while working as the woodshop instructor at Franklin Community High School before opening Sharp Graphics. Hessman still works at the high school in addition to running his small business.
Even with the elimination of the federal government paperwork, Hessman is pessimistic about the application process.
“I think it will take just as long to file. Maybe less time to receive the go ahead, but still just as long to file,” he said.
Nevertheless, both Gutwein and Hessman hope this law, which goes into effect on July 1, will increase the number of veterans applying to own businesses.
“Hopefully more vets will try to move on after life in the military and find a passion,” Hessman said. “It is a difficult switch to adjust to. At least, it was for me.”
“By placing control with the state, we hope to see more vets applying, and not having to wait as long to get started,” Gutwein said. “I was a vet, and found that starting my own business was very beneficial for me.”
Jackson Hughes is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.