Heroes on the Homefront
Task force report says veteran owned businesses create jobs.
According to a report from the Interagency Task Force on Veterans Small Business Development, veteran-owned businesses are job creators. The document, “Heroes on the Homefront: Supporting Veteran Success as Small Business Owners,” provides updates on the 18 recommendations made in last year’s report.
In a posting on blogs.va.gov and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) blog, Marie Johns, SBA deputy administrator, explains the report is the second of its kind where task-force members from seven agencies have come together to collaborate on small-business issues that are unique to veteran-business owners.
Johns writes, “The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) believes that two of America’s greatest assets are the service of our returning veterans and the economic dynamism of our small businesses. It’s no secret that entrepreneurs and small businesses are the engines of American innovation and economic prosperity.
“For example, the nation’s 28 million small firms employ 60 million Americans, or half of the private-sector work force, and they are responsible for creating two out of three net new private-sector jobs across the country. And, these numbers are even better when looking at Veteran Owned Small Businesses.”
Johns cites the following statistics:
- U.S. military veterans own 2.4 million businesses, or nearly one in ten of all businesses nationwide, and 8.3% of veteran business owners have service-connected disabilities.
- Veteran-owned businesses generate $1.2 trillion in receipts and employ nearly 5.8 million people.
- In the private-sector work force, veterans are at least 45% more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed.
In fiscal year 2012, the Task Force, along with the interagency Veterans Employment Initiative, developed and piloted a re-designed military transition program, Transition GPS, that includes an entrepreneurship training program called “Operation Boots to Business: from Service to Startup.” This program is expected to roll out nationally in the coming year.
The Task Force has also worked to streamline programs and cut paperwork for veteran small businesses through support for initiatives such as BusinessUSA and QuickApp for surety bonds, and it has continued the efforts begun last year to make the process of winning federal government contracts simpler and easier for service-disabled veterans and veteran-owned small business.
“Our nation’s veterans helped reshape the American economy following World War II,” Johns says. “They helped to build one of the longest periods of economic growth in our country’s history. And we know they can do it again if they are simply given the right tools and the right opportunities.”
Heroes on the Homefront
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