The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced $3.5 million in grant awards to support outreach organizations focused on veteran small businesses. The grants provide critical funding to create new Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) in Alaska, California, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada and South Carolina, strengthening training and counseling services for aspiring and existing veteran and military spouse small business owners. In the U.S., there are nearly two million veteran-owned small businesses, employing over five million people and generating over $1.3 trillion in annual revenue.
“Our service members have protected our nation with selfless honor and sacrifice, and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting them with resources and opportunities as they pursue their American dreams of business ownership,”said U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman. “With this expansion of our veteran-focused network of small business centers, we can help more transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses start and grow their businesses and advance our economy.”
VBOCs are responsible for conducting Boots to Business classes for transitioning members and their spouses, aiding in putting together business plans, they provide mentorship and resources, and so on. These centers are available in nearly every state.
“VBOCs are a one-stop shop for business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business,” said Timothy Green, acting associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development. “The new centers will provide additional resources to increase support and access for nearly two million veteran-owned small businesses. The expanded locations aim to enhance the veteran small business owner experience with more opportunities for training and less appointment wait times.”
Organizations receiving grants from the SBA have demonstrated a commitment to addressing challenges that veteran-owned small businesses face and helping them succeed through the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program. The VBOC program has expanded from 22 to 28 locations, fully servicing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Grants will support a range of services, including:
- Business planning: Provides veterans with training and counseling on accounting, financial planning and management.
- Accessing capital: Helps veterans understand the multitude of sources of capital available to them, as well as helps them access financing, loans and grants.
- Marketing and outreach: Provides marketing and outreach services to promote veteran-owned businesses in their communities and beyond.
- Transitioning: Provides Boots to Business instruction to help active-duty service members transition out of the military.
Grant recipients and the areas impacted:
- Seattle Economic Development Fund- Business Impact Northwest: Seattle, Washington. Covering area: Alaska.
- University of Texas Arlington College of Business: Arlington, Texas. Covering area: Nevada.
- Carmel Veterans Service Center: Colorado Springs, Colorado. Covering area: Colorado.
- Nebraska Enterprise Fund: Oakland, Nebraska. Covering area: Nebraska and Iowa.
- The Citadel: Charleston, South Carolina. Covering area: South Carolina.
- Long Beach City College: Long Beach, California. Covering area: California’s LA County, San Bernardino County, Ventura County, Orange County, Santa Barbara County and Riverside County.
For more information on these and other local VBOCs, visit sba.gov/vboc.
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration