May is a special time in Indiana. Spring has sprung with many exciting events taking place across the state, culminating with the long Memorial Day weekend. Many such activities provide Hoosiers an opportunity to pay tribute to our service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. As the Ombudsman, it’s part of my job to communicate resources available to business owners, so I wanted to take time this month and highlight services that assist veteran owned business.
According to the U.S. Census, about 2.4 million, or nine percent of all U.S. small businesses are veteran-owned. For those of you who aren’t math people, that’s nearly 1 in 10 small businesses. To help grow these entities, there are several state and federal resources specifically for veterans.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers access to business loan opportunities for military veterans through their Express Loan Program. The SBA has waived the borrower upfront fee to zero for all veteran loans authorized up to $350,000. Veterans Business Services (VBS) can help with financing, resources, and assistance to get a venture off the ground. VBS has experience working with veterans to obtain conventional secured financing, subordinated debt for working capital, Veteran Administration VRE Grants, and much more!
If you’re a veteran looking for franchising opportunities, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a variety of scholarship and educational programs.
If you’re a veteran looking for educational opportunities to launch or grow your businesses, there are many federal and state programs that can assist you. Boots to Business is an education and training program offered by the SBA that includes steps for evaluating business concepts and the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. The Wounded Warrior Project created the Transition Training Academy which is a hands-on program that helps veterans explore the information-technology field as a possible career choice.
Looking for something local? The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs is offering workshops across Indiana highlighting programs that assist veterans in their business ventures.
Are you a veteran business owner looking to be certified? You have a couple of options. The VA has the Vets First Verification Program. This program provides veteran owned small businesses procurement opportunities. Have questions about the VA verification policy and process? The VA has developed a Verification Assistance Program to help. Indiana also has its own VBE certification. To learn more about Indiana’s programs and benefits, please follow the steps listed here.
These are just a few resources that I found available for veteran business owners. Did I miss something? Please tell me so I can continue to share information with veterans. I can’t say this enough, thank you for your service and good luck with your business! Please continue to follow #HoosierOmbuddy for tips and resources available to business owners across Indiana.