The United States offers a variety of benefits for active and retired veterans and their families in gratitude for the dedication and service they have offered to our county. What many don’t know, however, is that there are a multitude of advantages available to those who would like to continue serving their county and communities by owning a business as well. We teamed up with Wendy Klug at the Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas (VBOC) to highlight some of the key resources that veteran business owners can utilize as they work to serve their community as entrepreneurs:
1. Your Skillset
The military is an incubator of some of the most important characteristics of a small business owner, many of which take nonveterans years of experience to develop. Don’t forget that the skills you acquired throughout your service oftentimes speak louder than anything on paper in the eyes of banks.
2. Government Contracts
Government contacts – the federal government offers opportunities for a certain percentage of all federal contracting dollars for veteran status, disabled status, and women-owned businesses. By identifying as any of these types, you have access to take a dip in the contracting world.
3. Grow With Google
Grow with Google – Google offers some of the simplest and most accessible resources for veteran business owners through their Grow with Google program. By identifying your business as “veteran-led”, you can add a veteran attribute to your Google my Business profile, gain access to tips and lessons on a variety of business and marketing skills, and connect with new markets around the globe.
4. SBA Loans
The Veterans Advantage Loan is a program that offers a variety of additional benefits for veteran business owners, including access to up to $5 million as well as up to 10-year terms through the SBA 7(a) Veterans Loan.
5. Franchising Benefits
Because of the extensive training and skills acquired in the line of duty, 99% of franchisors see veteran entrepreneurs as the perfect fit. Vet Fran offers a variety of resources for veteran franchisors such as a VetFran directory, guides/videos/articles, and events to assist these business owners on their path to franchising.
6. Tax Incentives
There is a maximum income tax credit of up to $1,500 for businesses that hire unemployed veterans. Through this Work Opportunity Tax Credit program, employers can access this credit by claiming 25% of the first-year wages paid up to $6,000.
7. Veteran Focused Training Workshops
From statewide Boots to Business and Reboot events to local training sessions hosted by the SBA and VBOC, veterans can gain expertise and knowledge in all parts of their entrepreneurial journey to continue to grow and better serve their communities.
8. Veteran’s Small Business Week
This nationwide celebration takes place every November to honor the thousands of veteran business owners around the county. Throughout this week, the U.S. Small Business Administration not only celebrates veteran enterprises and their accomplishments, but offers tips & tricks, webinars, and other resources so that these business owners can achieve their dreams and continue to grow their business to its full potential.
9. Office of Veterans Business Development
This SBA office is a hub for all things veteran-led businesses. The Office serves as a place to maximize the use and availability of benefits available to veteran business owners and offers a large directory of resources for veterans, service-disable veterans, reserve components members, and their dependents or survivors.
10. Acquire Surplus
Earlier this year, the U.S government passed the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act, which gives veteran business owners the opportunity to acquire surplus equipment from the federal government…for free! Once this act is ready to be implemented, veteran-led businesses will have access to these unused items and be able to open the doors or better grow their business into what they dream it to be.
The number of resources available for veterans is endless! Thank you, veterans, for your devotion and dedication to serving our county in the field and in our communities.