On May 29th, 2013, more than 70 veterans and their spouses turned out for the “Hiring Our Heroes” Job Fair held at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau, MO. The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the American Legion have hosted more than 500 of these job fairs across the country for veterans of any rank and level of experience since March 2011. This was the first time this event had been held in Cape Girardeau. Over 40 employers, both local and out-of-state, were there to talk to prospective applicants.
SBA was on hand to provide information and resources to those veterans who may be considering starting a small business as an alternative to conventional employment. Angie Wells, SBA St. Louis District Office’s Veteran’s Representative, and Bill Vickery, Area Manager, were available to answer questions and provide the veterans with materials and contacts to assist them with that process.
SBA’s resource partners including the Veterans Business Resource Center, Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers, and SCORE, provide counseling services at no charge to those considering opening a small business. SBA also has loan programs that are exclusively available to veterans.
Wells stated “It is an honor to provide assistance to those men and women who have served our country so well and now want to transition into the civilian job force. We want to help them be successful.” Dennis Melton, SBA St. Louis District Director added, “Studies have shown that veterans start businesses at a higher rate than non-veterans. Military skills and the discipline required of those serving in the Armed Forces are excellent preparation for entrepreneurship. Veterans tend to have a mission-driven mindset. They’re realistic about the time commitment and they don’t give up in the face of adversity.”