How To Support Veterans and Veteran-Owned Businesses

If supporting veterans is a cause you often get behind, you may want to know what else you can do to help.  Beyond contributing time and money to local veterans hospitals and shelters, there is another area you can support: veteran-owned business. There is a good chance you have already patronized these businesses without knowing it.

 

Veterans Experience Business Success

 

There are millions of small businesses across the country. The number of those owned by a veteran or group of veterans is relatively high. About 1 in 14 businesses is owned by a former member of the military – a statistic that makes the odds pretty high that you have supported a veteran in being a successful business owner.

 

Promote a Veteran-Owned Business

 

You likely have your favorite places around town you patronize. You may be hesitant to try something new, especially if the waters are untested. When you find a business owned by a vet that you enjoy, promote it. Take to social media or even your office water cooler. Talk it up and make sure you tell others that a veteran runs it. Few causes bring people together like supporting military members, past and present.

 

Veterans Hire Veterans

 

There’s a good chance that a veteran-owned business is also a veteran-staffed business. Former military members also like to give back to their brothers and sisters. One area returning troops often struggle with is finding a civilian job. Usually, the skills and certifications gained in the military are not recognized in the same way that state-side certifications are. Troops find out that even though they were preeminent in the IT department in their unit for ten years, back at home, they have to take classes to get close to the level of function they performed in the military. Veterans, therefore, hiring other veterans keeps unemployment lower and morale high.

 

Offer Professional Guidance to a Veteran Business

 

Opportunities to pay it forward are everywhere. If you cross paths with like-minded professionals, offer to hold a seminar or one-on-one business assistance to fledgling or up-and-coming veteran business owners. Offer accounting classes, business planning or more technical lessons. Chances are, you will learn just as much from them as they will from you.

 

Supporting a veteran-owned business is probably easier than you think. Given the landscape of small businesses and the drive that returning and retiring military personnel possess, you have already experienced their service. If it was a positive experience, share it and help make it a success. Giving to one often means giving to many.