vThe legislation would defer payments for startup founders, employees
US Senator Maggie Hassan, D-NH, reintroduced the Reigniting Opportunity for Innovators Act, which aims to help provide student loan debt relief to young entrepreneurs who start innovative small businesses.
Hassan initially introduced the bill in 2017 as the first bill she sponsored when she became a senator.
The legislation would allow the founders and full-time employees of startups to defer paying student debt, without accruing interest, for a period of three years. The bill would also allow founders and full-time employees of startups in economically troubled areas to write off up to $ 20,000 in tax-free student loan debt.
She said the legislation is essential because “the debt burden of student loans prevents bright and innovative young people from starting the kind of small businesses that are essential to our economic recovery.”
She said many young people are delaying starting new businesses because of their student loan debt. In fact, Hassan said, a significant number of graduates who leave school with student debt cited student debt as the reason for delaying starting a new business.
Providing loan relief to young entrepreneurs “will help encourage the growth of new businesses, especially in economically troubled areas that have suffered even greater losses amid the Coivid-19 pandemic.”
Joshua Cyr, senior director of startup initiatives at the New Hampshire Tech Alliance, praised the legislation, saying that “the burden of paying off school debt has been a significant barrier for budding entrepreneurs who build and innovate. here in New Hampshire. The early stages of starting a new business mean little to no income, let alone profit. The founders’ salaries are low to concentrate capital and disposable income on the development of the business. This will be extremely helpful in reducing risk for startup founders and their first employees, and in focusing their resources on what they need to be successful.