Our veterans, recently home from Iraq and Afghanistan, have worked exceptionally hard, taken big risks and persevered emotionally and physically in a hostile and challenging arena. Tours of duty present split second decision making, courage, and risk of life and limb. But these qualities are the fabric that makes up our warriors. These characteristics are well matched to those an entrepreneur needs to start their own business.
It's only logical that returning veterans, especially officers would be a natural as successful small business owners. The most recent census shows that there are 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses that employ nearly 6 million people in the U.S. today.
There are many ways the federal government and the State of California are currently helping vets realize this dream of owning their own business. There are low interest loans from the Small Business Administration and free advice from business experts. Veterans can learn about workable business plans, financial and tax issues, and get answers to the many questions that face a new business owner.
The SBA "Boots to Business" program helps our veteran's transition from soldier to business owner. There is a special program for disabled vets with extra support that includes training, covered expenses and free business consultation for a year. There are also programs for members of the National Guard and reservists.
Here at the National Federation of Independent Business we have many members who are successful veteran small-business owners. We hope newly returning vets will seriously consider starting a small business as one option when they make the transition back to civilian life. Welcome home and thank you for your service!
[For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America's economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB's educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities. To learn more visit www.NFIB.com/california.]