Resilience, poise, adaptability – not only do these traits define our Nation’s service members, veterans, and military spouses, 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.
Our duty as an agency is to ensure these entrepreneurs are empowered and celebrated at every stage of business ownership. The SBA uses National Veterans Small Business Week—Nov. 2 through Nov. 6—to do just that.
During these unprecedented times, it’s vital to strengthen all small businesses as they work to pivot and readjust. This unique opportunity drives this year’s National Veterans Small Business Week theme, “#VetBiz Resources in Your Local Community.” We want to help veterans—those considering starting and working to grow their businesses—to see the importance of tapping into local resources while establishing strong community connections to thrive in the future.
The SBA and its local resource partner networks are a great place to start for veterans looking for transition assistance, entrepreneurial training, government contracting opportunities, disaster assistance, and capital access.
Take it from Rick Messer – Marine combat veteran and proud owner of Marine Micros, an organic microgreen company based in Lynn Haven, Florida. When Hurricane Michael devastated much of the area’s infrastructure in October 2018, Rick started Marine Micros to replenish the fresh produce and food supply chain that was cut off after the storm. Rick worked with his local Veterans Business Outreach Center throughout his business journey and applied for a much-needed SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, which helped him sustain and even grow his microgreens operation.
U.S. Air Force veteran John DeHoff and his spouse Carina also teamed up with the SBA while building their recreational vehicle business, Leisureland RV Center in Boise, Idaho. They participated in the SBA’s Boots to Business program and learned about the fundamentals of business ownership. Since opening in 2015, Leisureland RV has grown from a small dealership into a company that serves the entire western United States. This year, we recognized this husband and wife duo during National Small Business Week as the SBA 2020 Idaho Small Businesspersons of the Year.
NVSBW activities and events are happening nationwide to honor veteran and military entrepreneurs, just like Rick, John, and Carina, and you. If you’re a veteran, member of the military, or military spouse looking for business guidance, we encourage you to reach out to one of our local resource partners and get involved in this week’s events to learn more about the many SBA community resources available to you.
For more information about NVSBW, check out sba.gov/nvsbw. You can also join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #VetBiz.