Veterans day

Thank You, Veterans

On this Veterans Day, I want to talk about veterans who own/operate small businesses because I know you all know the meaning of the day and you don’t need me to explain it.

Veterans are excellent entrepreneurs. They are resilient, dedicated, and motivated among other skills that translate very well into small business ownership. However, despite having these great transferrable characteristics, veterans only own about 6% of all businesses in the United States. These businesses generate nearly $950 billion in receipts, employ nearly 4 million persons, and pay $2.6 trillion dollars in payroll. While veteran business ownership is only 6% of all businesses, the fact that they employ so many people and generate so much in receipts, is very impressive.

This brings me to how we can support these veterans. It really is easy, just seek them out and patronize their business, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar, a food truck, or eCommerce, obtain goods or services from them instead of a big box store. After all, small business is the backbone of the US economy as well as local economies where the business is situated.

If you are a veteran in business, it may be a good time to pause and make sure your business is heading in the direction you wish and evaluate any potential growth that could be on your business horizon. Take a moment and get a meeting set with your Business Impact NW business advisor. If you do not have an advisor with Business Impact NW, now is the time to visit our website and get registered for free business coaching. Take some of our live and on-demand trainings to beef up your business knowledge.

Finally, I wish you all a happy Veterans Day. I hope you can celebrate your service, the service of others and take a moment to honor those who have fallen. Go seek out and purchase goods and/or services from veteran owned businesses whenever possible.

About the Office of Veterans Business Development

The SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) works through SBA’s extensive resource partner network, which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women’s Business Centers, and 22 VBOCs located throughout the nation. VBOCs are also the leading partner in hosting the “Boots to Business” and “Boots to Business Reboot” programs, which offer courses on entrepreneurship on military installations and in local communities. Since the program’s inception in 2013, Boots to Business has trained and graduated more than 165,000 service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses. For more information on the resources available for veteran entrepreneurs, visit www.sba.gov/veterans.

About the author

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Steve Watts-Oelrich
VBOC Program Director at Business Impact NW

Steve entered the Air Force right out of high school. During his time on active duty, he obtained his B.S. Degree in Workforce Education, Training and Development. After serving 8 years, Steve honorably separated from the military and began law school a short time later. While in law school, he did a legislative externship to assist homeless parents in Washington State and he was elected Student Bar Association Treasurer. Steve got his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law in 1999. Upon passing the bar, Steve went into partnership with a law school classmate and then ultimately went solo. After closing the firm, Steve went to work as a counselor for incarcerated youth. He subsequently worked for some tech companies in a role of recruitment and training.

Posted in Business Impact NW, Veteran Owners

Steve Watts-Oelrich View posts by Steve Watts-Oelrich

Steve entered the Air Force right out of high school. During his time on active duty, he obtained his B.S. Degree in Workforce Education, Training and Development. After serving 8 years, Steve honorably separated from the military and began law school a short time later. While in law school, he did a legislative externship to assist homeless parents in Washington State and he was elected Student Bar Association Treasurer. Steve got his J.D. from Seattle University School of Law in 1999. Upon passing the bar, Steve went into partnership with a law school classmate and then ultimately went solo. After closing the firm, Steve went to work as a counselor for incarcerated youth. He subsequently worked for some tech companies in a role of recruitment and training.
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