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Veteran-Owned Businesses: Spotlight During U.S. Govt Shutdown

Veteran-Owned Businesses: Spotlight During U.S. Govt Shutdown

(Note: This post was initially published on LinkedIn, and the following iteration is a syndicated and updated version of the same.) 

Millions of active military, civilian defense workers and veterans will experience financial insecurity if the U.S. Federal Government shuts down this week. They deserve better.

Right now, Congress has no clear path to passing a budget. So, in a few days the government may shut down, withholding, among other things, paychecks for millions of present and past defense employees.

The military contributes to the economy in many ways. And veterans take what they’ve learned in the military – hard work, leadership, discipline, skills – to play a sustaining role in their community, region, and country.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports there are about two million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. (10% of all U.S. businesses), employing over five million Americans, and generating $1 trillion in annual receipts.

Despite the challenges of capital, bureaucracy, and infrastructure, not to mention service-related disabilities, nearly four out of five veterans find satisfaction with their work and describe themselves as being successful.

Not only is the number of veteran-owned businesses growing about ten percent annually, but there has also been an explosive growth in women’s veteran-own businesses. The transition from active military to civilian can be challenging. Not all military competencies are applicable to growing a business.

Many veterans remark they lack sufficient skills critical to operations, like contracts, regulation, and compliance, that weren’t part of the military curriculum and require mentoring, capital, labour, and technology.

Moving onto civilian life is difficult enough – even without trying to become a successful entrepreneur. There are resources veterans can turn to for business support, including contract management, to start, grow and prosper.

Former service members are opening businesses across industries and are optimistic about their future. They should be rewarded for their immeasurable contribution to our security and economy. The impending government shutdown is hopefully just a bump in the road.

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