Celebrating Veterans and America's 2.4 Million Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
by Rhett_Jeppson, SBA Official
- Created: November 9, 2012, 1:21 pm
Each Veterans Day we honor veterans: those serving to protect us at home and abroad, and those who previously served. America’s service members put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedoms and safety here in the U.S.
As a fellow veteran, I, too, understand the many sacrifices our men and women serving in the military and in the National Guard make daily, whether it’s serving overseas, or serving in a location here in the U.S. For more than 20 years I had the privilege of serving with many of these fine men and women in peacetime and in wartime. I have a deep gratitude for those who have gone before us, paying the ultimate sacrifice, and the many who still pay the price every day from injuries received while in service to our nation.
We, as a country, have such a strong and proud military heritage, as remembered this year with commemoration events to mark the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. But it’s not just historical events that remind us of the selfless contributions made by services members; we are thankful every day to welcome veterans home from today’s conflicts across the globe.
Our men and women in uniform are everyday heroes, whose strength, duty, devotion, and resolve to protect and defend that which has kept our country safe for over 200 years. In times of peace and conflict, there is no doubt that their accomplishments have been extraordinary. The best way to honor veterans and their sacrifice is to provide them with the best possible service and opportunities here at home.
Part of the mission of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is to provide assistance to veterans and service-disabled veterans who return home to start, resume, or further grow their businesses. In fact, SBA supports Veteran business owners through entrepreneurial training and mentoring, access to capital, and business development opportunities through government contracts. To see all of the opportunities SBA has for veterans, please visit www.sba.gov/veterans.
Many of the transitioning service members apply the skills and experience they develop on the battlefield to a life of service here at home. They take on roles in their communities as doctors and police officers, engineers and entrepreneurs, and mothers and fathers. Did you know that nearly one in 10 small businesses nationwide is veteran-owned? And collectively, these 2.4 million small businesses employ nearly six million Americans and generate more than $1 trillion in receipts. In the private sector workforce, veterans are 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
For veterans who choose self-employment after military service, SBA is focused on outreach efforts for programs such as Boots to Business, an entrepreneurial training program; to Veteran Resource Centers for business counseling; and supporting access to capital for veterans through our Patriot Express Loans.
With the highest gratitude and respect, thank you, veterans, for your service. Your commitment to our nation, your communities and your families are the foundation on what makes this country great.
About the AuthorRhett Jeppson is the Associate Administrator for SBA's Office of Veterans Business Development.
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