Massachusetts to Offer Tax Credits for Small Businesses that Hire Veterans

By Shira Schoenberg

“Certification through the New England Tech Vets program shows that a company is not just saying they are veteran friendly.  It shows they are taking concrete steps to better engage and retain veteran employees,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Clarke Orzalli who helped design the program, in a statement.

Massachusetts is launching a new tax credit program that will be available to small businesses that hire veterans.

The credit was included in this year’s budget, but businesses will only be able to start the process of becoming eligible for it on Dec. 1.

To get the tax credit, representatives of the businesses will have to undergo an online training program to ensure they are aware of the particular issues facing veteran employees.  This will include training related to recruitment, social support and recognizing how wartime experiences affect the workplace.

The Massachusetts High Technology Council, together with military and education-related organizations, has developed the first certified training program called “New England Tech Vets Veteran Ready Employer Education and Certification Program.”  The program will be offered for free.

Once a business completes the training and is certified, it will become eligible for a tax credit of $4,000 over two years for every veteran employee who is hired and retained.  The program is open to companies with 100 or fewer employees.

Certification through the New England Tech Vets program shows that a company is not just saying they are veteran friendly.  It shows they are taking concrete steps to better engage and retain veteran employees,” said retired Navy Rear Admiral Clarke Orzalli who helped design the program, in a statement.

Initial training began in November for a group of Massachusetts High Technology Council members.  The program will become accessible to all employers Dec. 1.

“Our veterans and their families make great sacrifices for our Commonwealth and country, and we are committed to helping them find job opportunities when they return from active duty,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement.  “We were proud to pursue this tax credit and the support it provides for our returning heroes and the companies that employ them in meaningful careers to support their families.”

There are approximately 336,000 veterans in Massachusetts – around 6 percent of the adult population.  In 2016, the average unemployment rate among adult veterans in Massachusetts was 4.6 percent, compared to 3.6 percent for the adult civilian population, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.