November is National Veteran and Military Families month. It’s a good reminder of the sacrifice not just of our enlisted service personnel but also the families that support them.
Speaking of support, how can we show our appreciation for the people that serve and protect our country? One way is to support service personnel when they return home and start businesses in their communities. Here are some suggestions for how to give back to these important entrepreneurs.
Support Veteran-Owned Businesses
There are more than 2.52 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. today. The majority of these are small companies, many of which you’ll find in your local community. The first step toward supporting veteran-owned small businesses is to find them. Fortunately, websites like BuyVeteran allow for easy lookup of these companies. The American Veteran Owned Business Association also has a good list. Don’t forget about military spouses, either; do they have a business you can support, or are they looking for work?
Step two is simple. Buy. There’s huge power in your consumerism, so finding the right business that is veteran-owned to provide services or goods is a great way to support these companies. Whether it’s hiring a contractor with military credentials to work on your home or frequenting a retail store, these small business owners could use the support that your dollar can bring.
As a third step, if you’ve found a veteran-owned business that does a nice job, why not give them some free advertising by sharing their details on social media. You can give the business a Google or Yelp! review and share a link to their website on your Facebook or Twitter feed. Share what your experience was and that supporting that company is a great way to support military veterans.
Step four is to commit to hiring veterans into your business. There are a lot of vets out there today looking for work. Start your search for these candidates by placing a line in your advertising that says something like “veterans welcome” or some other phrase that lets them know you will consider their application. You can also post your listing on VetJobs.com to reach more candidates.
Hiring a veteran is good for your business. Most veterans bring specialized leadership training with them into civilian life, and those skills are an asset to a business. Military veterans also come with training in how to work hard and push themselves to achieve what might seem impossible; what business wouldn’t benefit from having workers with these skills? Finally, there are tax credits available to your business if you hire veterans.
Consider supporting non-profits that also support veterans. Warrior Rising is a non-profit founded by veterans to support small businesses owned by former military personnel. PenFed Foundation invests in veteran-owned businesses. VetFran helps veterans buy franchises and get started in business. Each of these non-profits emphasizes supporting veteran-owned businesses.
At Benetrends Financial, we’ve provided small business lending to thousands of military veterans getting started on their entrepreneurial journey. Our small business lending programs help military-owned companies, whether they’re launching or scaling a business. Talk with our team. We’re here to help.
Are you a veteran looking to start a business? Schedule a consultation today to get started on the right path!