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BLOG: Helping Valley heroes become entrepreneurs

Dawn Golik and Lorenzo Rios. Photo contributed

Around the valley and across the country, businesses owned by former military personnel are an economic powerhouse. There are over 1.76 million veteran-owned businesses in the United States. They employ nearly 5.3 million workers, with an annual payroll exceeding $232 million. Their annual sales and revenue of approximately $1 trillion have a huge impact on our nation’s economy.

Like all successful missions, small business ownership begins with planning and preparation. That’s why during this year’s National Veterans’ Small Business Week (October 31-November 4), the Clovis Veteran Memorial District has invited a network of community partners – including the Small Business Administration – to help our region’s heroes to become entrepreneurs and small business owners.

On Nov. 2, veterans, military members, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses can learn how to start and continue to grow as small business owners at the Vet Biz Rally Point Summit. Hosted and hosted by the Clovis Veterans Memorial, this free event will feature speakers from the SBA and other community partners who will discuss resources to help veteran small businesses start, grow and succeed.

Capital acquisition is a key skill that seasoned business owners need. Vet Biz Rally Point Summit will cover everything veterans need to know about financing their business, from developing a business plan to finding a loan, and the event will include presentations from SBA lenders. A panel of experts will also discuss how Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOSB) can gain a competitive advantage by winning government contracts. The federal government’s goal is to award 3% of all federal contracts annually to the SDVOSB. In 2021, SDVOSB actually received 4.41% of all federal contract dollars. Studies show that 40% of veteran-owned businesses are in construction, retail, and professional, scientific, and technical services, all of which are high-demand sectors for government work. Vet Biz Rally Point summit attendees will learn how to get their business certified and gain access to government jobs. The event will also feature speakers covering other key information veterans, military members and their spouses need to know when starting their small business and keeping it growing. Visit the website for more information on this free event and to register.

Building a successful small business takes hard work and dedication – qualities that are not lacking among the thousands of service members, veterans and service spouses in the Valley. Time, effort and courage – combined with the support of the many veteran-serving organizations, including the SBA, Veterans Awareness Centers, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE – help military members start and maintain profitable businesses. Being a successful business owner changes the lives of Veterans, their families, customers and the community.

During National Veterans Small Business Week, the Nov. 2 Vet Biz Rally Point Summit, and every day of the year, the SBA, their resource partners, and community organizations have resources available to support military members. and their families to start, scale and succeed as small business owners, helping heroes become entrepreneurs.

Dawn Golik is director of the Fresno SBA District which serves all 15 counties in the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast of California. Lorenzo Rios is CEO of Clovis Veteran Memorial District. For more information on the free Vet Biz Rally Point Summit hosted by the Clovis Veteran Memorial District on November 2, visit the event’s website.