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5 Ways to Honor the Military this Memorial Day

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5 Ways to Honor the Military this Memorial Day

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: May 7, 2014

Did you know that May is Military Appreciation Month? And with Memorial Day coming up, it’s a perfect opportunity for your small business to honor the service of our veterans and military men and women. Here’s a look at some ideas to consider from that go beyond a traditional discount on products or services with inspiration from Kathryn Hawkins, who writes extensively on business and entrepreneurship.

  • Collections for troops – Host a collection for items deployed troops need. Let customers know via email newsletters and social media – in addition to in-store signage – that you’ll be gathering items to send overseas. Check out efforts like Operation Gratitude for specifics about how you can help and what our soldiers need.
  • Discounts and free offers – Customize a special offer for those who present military ID, such as 20 percent off your product or service. If you can afford it, toss in a little something extra with a purchase. Run a restaurant? Sweeten the deal with free dessert at the end of the meal.
  • Volunteering – Know a local military family in need? Round up employees to donate time and materials to help out on a project or effort. For example, says Hawkins, if there’s a need for a home renovation project and you run a hardware store, you can donate tools or building materials. Own a nursery? Offer plants or flowers. If you have a café, consider providing a meal or lightening the cooking load with help in the kitchen.
  • Highlight soldiers’ stories – Through email newsletters, Facebook or your other social media channels, pay respect to those who have fallen and express gratitude for those you know who are currently serving. Invite customers to share their stories as well. This kind of effort is great to add another personal (and memorable) touch to your business relationships.  
  • Parades – Does your town or city host a Memorial Day Parade? Many do, and they ask local businesses to sponsor floats to support the cost of the parade. This is a great way to show your support and honor service members, and it also gets your business name out there in a unique way to parade-goers or to folks watching on television. Check in with your local chamber of commerce to learn what’s happening in your area.

However you decide to honor the military this year, customize your effort to make it work for your business. And don’t forget to record what you do and share it on your website, social media or through email. Your customers and community will be glad to know what you’re up to and the successes that benefit the military community.

About the Author:

Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Thanks for joining our online community here at SBA.gov!

Comments:

The army has always been an important part of the country, I think the job should be held memories more often.
These are all great ideas! Thank you for helping spread the word about how great our veteran community is. Brian USAF Retired www.woundedamericanwarrior.com
finding a way to give back to our veterans and troops is what it's really all about.
Facebook or your other social media channels, spend respect to those who have fallen and express gratitude for those you realize that are presently serving. Invite shoppers to share their stories also. This kind of work is great to add an additional personal (and memorable) touch to your business enterprise relationships
Please review our Community Best Practices for more information] I appreciate all of those who show support for the military and my heart goes out to those who are currently deployed
Thanks for these great reminders! We often let these days pass by as just another holiday on the calendar. All businesses can do their part to remind people of the meaning behind the holiday. Parades are our personal favorite, but finding a way to give back to our veterans and troops is what it's really all about.
These are all great ideas. I love the parade idea especially. I went to a Memorial Day Parade in a small Texas town a few years ago and seeing several veterans in the parade with war injuries and other problems gave me a special appreciation for what these guys sacrifice in defending our country. We all should be very grateful. Thanks for the ideas!
I think it's so important to honor our military not only on Memorial day but every day! These are some great suggestions that can be used in every day life (ie. Volunteering) as well as through our small business with discounts for our services!! Thank you for such a great article.
Hey kmurray, Nice post. we can also honor military memorial day in 4 ways. Such as- - Old and sick soldiers financial support. - Visit an historical military landmark or memorial site. - Fly Your Flag at Half-Staff - Send varieties kinds of gift for our overseas soldiers Regards, shuvro chowdhury
Memorial day reminds me of all the widowed spouses. My heart goes out to them. Also my heart goes out to those who are currently deployed. As a veteran myself I know how hard it is to be away from family.

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