By: Mike Vlacich
New England Regional Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration
This year we will celebrate National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW) October 31 – November 4, 2022. During NVSBW we will recognize the achievements of our veterans across New England and we will celebrate the strength and resiliency of the veteran business community.
Here are a couple of interesting facts about veteran-owned businesses:
- There are over 1.76 million veteran-owned businesses
- in the United States.
- These businesses employ nearly 4 million people.
- Across New England there are 81,293 veteran-owned businesses, 20,693 are employers, and 60,600 are non-employers.
- Rhode Island is home to 5,772 veteran-owned businesses, of which 4,200 are employers, and 1,572 are non-employers
It’s not that surprising that there are so many veteran-owned businesses across the country. Veterans make great entrepreneurs. Building a successful small business requires hard work and dedication—traits that are in no short supply among service members, veterans, and military spouses. Resilience, poise, adaptability – not only do these traits define our Nation’s service members and veterans, but they are also critical ingredients for successful entrepreneurs. At the U.S. Small Business Administration, we recognize the value the military community brings to our great country through their service in the armed forces and as small business owners who contribute more than $1 trillion in sales to the U.S. economy on an annual basis.
Time, effort, and grit – combined with community support – propel members of the military community to launch and maintain profitable businesses. The endeavors of business ownership are lifechanging for owners and those around them, from family members and community members to patrons. Veterans are selfless, altruistic, and natural leaders – qualities that carry them through their military careers and post-military endeavors. In turn, many veterans who pursue entrepreneurship end up using their business as a launchpad to help others. It’s typical that when service members transition to civilian life, they don’t leave their military community behind. Instead, they find other ways to contribute by lending a hand to other veterans any way they can.
For these reasons and many more, our veteran business owners are such an important part of our communities, so it is extremely important to note that they don’t have to enter their mission of entrepreneurship alone. The SBA and Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) are here to help. Our duty is to ensure these entrepreneurs are empowered and celebrated at every stage of business ownership.
Our programs and services aim to help veteran entrepreneurs start or grow their business, and we pride ourselves in celebrating the accomplishments of veteran-owned small businesses across the country. We engage veteran entrepreneurs in educational opportunities that supports the building of small businesses, encourages industry specific networking, and contributes to long term sustainability of businesses.
Through the SBA and VBOC, the military community has a partner to support them at all stages of small business ownership. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey, transition assistance, entrepreneurial training, disaster assistance, access to capital, and government contracting opportunities are available to you.
The SBA and the VBOC of New England have collaborated to showcase several successful veteran small business owners as well as local resources available at a virtual round table on Wednesday, November 2 at 11:00am – 12:00pm. Those interested in attending can register by clicking this link.
To our nation’s veterans and military community, thank you for your hard work, dedication, and the sacrifices you make. Thank you for your service.