WASHINGTON, DC (KCAU) — On Wednesday, a Sioux City veteran and business owner testified at a senate small business committee hearing in Washington, DC.

The goal is to increase the effectiveness of the small business administration’s veterans’ business development programs while meeting the challenges that veterans who are entrepreneurs and small business owners are facing. Dustin Rhoades, the CEO and owner of Ability Tech, was a key witness at the hearing.

The company provides assistive technology to people with disability needs in order to live their lives to the fullest. Rhoades says one of the barriers small business owners face when looking to secure federal contracting is the process itself.

“For small business, our biggest resource is our time. And when you have to sit there and understand the language and what is needed and gathered those resources to apply. It’s very hard on our time,” Rhoades said.

According to Iowa Senator Joni Ernst, who spoke during the hearing, Iowa had more than 16,000 veteran-owned businesses in 2019.