New Veteran Business Outreach Center to Open in Grand Forks

Release Date: 
Friday, May 11, 2018
Release Number: 
18-36-ND
Contact: 
Christopher Chavez, 303-844-0508

DENVER – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Region VIII Office has announced the opening of a new Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Grand Forks, ND.  The new center, hosted by the University of North Dakota (UND) College of Business and Public Administration, will have the mission of assisting veteran entrepreneurs start and grow small businesses in the states of North and South Dakota. This is the first VBOC to be funded by the SBA in North or South Dakota.

“It has been a long time coming to finally get a VBOC that will serve both North and South Dakota. I congratulate the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration for being awarded a new center in Grand Forks,” states Daniel Nordberg, SBA’s Region VIII Administrator. “With nearly 16,000 veteran-owned businesses in both states, I know the need for business specific assistance to the veteran community is greatly needed.”

Nearly one in 10 businesses in the U.S. is owned by a veteran. In 2017, VBOCs provided training and counseling to more than 48,000 clients. The addition of the new VBOC in Grand Forks enables the SBA to reach more veteran and military entrepreneurs in the Dakotas. In addition to transitioning service members and veteran small business owners, VBOCs also serve other members of the military entrepreneurship community, including active duty service members, veterans of all eras, National Guard and Reserve component members, and military spouses who aspire to be or are existing business owners.

“Through entrepreneurship and business ownership, veterans continue to serve by contributing to the local, state and national economy and by creating opportunities for others,” said Al Haut, SBA’s North Dakota district director.  “SBA is excited to serve them by powering a Veterans Business Outreach Center to assist active duty service members, all-era veterans, National Guard and Reserve, and military spouses across the Dakotas.”

In total, the SBA awarded $6.6 million in funding to 22 VBOCs nationwide to provide training and counseling to current and aspiring veteran small business owners. The funding opportunity, offered by SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development, is a one-year initial award with up to four additional one-year option periods, subject to the availability of funds.  Each VBOC provides entrepreneurship training to military service members and military spouses through the Boots to Business Entrepreneurship Training Program, the business training track under the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.

"The University of North Dakota appreciates the wonderful relationship it has established with the U.S. Small Business Administration to serve the military service members and their spouses in North and South Dakota through this new Veterans Business Outreach Center in Grand Forks,” states David K. Martin, state director for the VBOC program. “The University of North Dakota, SBDC Associate State Director Tiffany Ford, and I look forward to providing our military community with the training, technical assistance, and information resources they require to create viable small business ventures."

To learn more about the new VBOC network, and to find your local center visit www.sba.gov/vboc.  For more information on SBA veterans programs, visit www.sba.gov/vets.

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About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.