Help for Heroes: Resources Available for Veteran Business Owners

Nov 20, 2019

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According to AP Today, one in every ten business owners in the United States is a military veteran.

These brave individuals have not only dedicated their lives to serving our country, but to serving our communities through business ownership as well.

Like the variety of benefits offered to active and retired veterans and their families for their dedication and service to our country, a multitude of resources is also offered to those veteran entrepreneurs who continue to support and grow our communities day in and day out through business ownership.

Here’s just a brief look at the powerful tools that are available to these dedicated individuals and their businesses.

  1. Their own unique skillsets – the most overlooked resource available to veteran business owners is their very own skillset. Because of their time in the military, veterans have an important and unique set of characteristics that most nonveterans take years of experience to develop and can use it to their advantage.
  2. VBOC – The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) is a SBA program that offers resources to veterans who are interested in starting or growing a small business. There are over 22 VBOCs throughout the United States that provide these resources to veteran entrepreneurs, including North Dakota and Montana
  3. 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 dip a contracting world. 
  4. Grow with Google – Google allows veteran business owners to identify their business as “veteran-led”, add a veteran attribute to their Google My Business page, and gain access to free tools and trainings through their Grow with Google program. 
  5. SBA Loans – the Veterans Advantage Loan is a program that offers up to $5 million and up to a 10-year term through the SBA 7(a) Veterans Loan.
  6. Franchising BenefitsVet Fran is a unique program that seeks to educate veterans and franchisors of their skills and opportunities within business ownership. They provide a variety of free resources, including access to the VetFran directory, helpful blogs and videos, and events to help small business owners on their path to franchising. 
  7. 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.
  8. Veteran Focused Training Workshops – many programs like the SBA and VBOC offers veteran training events across the nation, including Boots to Business and Reboot. These local training sessions can help veterans gain the knowledge they need to succeed in their entrepreneurial journey.
  9. Veterans Small Business Week – The U.S. Small Business Administration hosts a week-long celebration every November to honor the thousands of veteran business owners around the county. The week features several tips & tricks, webinars, and other free resources.
  10. Office of Veterans Business Development – this SBA office is a hub for all things veteran-led businesses and offers a large directory of resources for veterans, service-disable veterans, reserve components members, and their dependents or survivors. 

A huge thank you to all veteran business owners for their devotion and dedication to serving our country in the field and in our communities!