Veterans Day 2012: Ways to Help A Veteran
There is free food, discounted entertainment and services to give thanks to vets. Now the Small Business Administration has another way to help a those who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Monday marks the federal observance of Veterans Day 2012. The purpose of the day is to show gratitude to those that have served in the armed forces. Some thanks shown this weekend have been through freebies: food, service and entertainment.
But the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has another way to say thanks, through its small business programs for veterans. SBA continues to build on its successful programs for America's military veterans, helping tens of thousands of veterans each year with small business financing, comprehensive business training and counseling and access to federal contracts, according to the administration.
"Around Veterans Day, our thoughts turn to the men and women who are currently serving in the Armed Forces, as well as to all veterans who have made sacrifices and served our country over the years," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills in a press release. "When you consider the leadership and management skills our veterans develop while on active and reserve duty, it's no wonder we see so many of them choose the path of small business ownership."
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau nearly one in 10 small businesses nationwide are veteran-owned. Collectively, these 2.4 million small businesses employ almost 6 million Americans and generate more than $1 trillion in receipts, according to the SBA. In the private sector workforce, veterans are 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
SBA supports veteran business owners through entrepreneurial training and mentoring, access to capital, and business development opportunities through government contracts.
This year SBA partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense to develop a national entrepreneurship training program for transitioning service members as part of the new Transition Assistance Program. Operation Boots to Business: From Service to Startup was piloted with all four branches of the services in summer and fall 2012. To read more about the program, click here.
Access to Capital
This fiscal year, SBA backed more than 3,200 loans supporting nearly $2.1 billion in financing to more than 2,800 Veteran-Owned Small Businesses through its 7(a) and 504 loan programs, including $118 million through the Patriot Express Loan program, according to SBA. To read more about Patriot Express loans click here.
Federal prime contracting dollars awarded to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses increased to $11.2 billion last year from $10.793 billion the year prior, according to the SBA. The organization has also created a series of online contracting courses called Government Contracting (GC) Classroom to help prospective and existing small businesses. For more information on government contracting click here.
Have you ever worked for a vet? How was your experience? As a vet did you know these services are available to you?
To read more about Veterans Day see: