Visit www.sba.gov/vetbiz or contact your local SBA district office to find out about various events.

Collectively, veteran-owned businesses employ five million workers and generate $1.1 trillion in receipts

At the U.S. Small Business Administration, numbers like these are important, but ultimately it is through the successes of the entrepreneurs we serve that we take our measure. Earlier this year, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon and I had the honor of meeting Doug Tate, owner of Alpha Technologies LLC in West Virginia, a business technology company he started after retiring from the U.S. Army. Alpha provides comprehensive technical solutions for growing businesses.

Since beginning the company 18 years ago, Doug has become a force in bringing employment to the communities in which he has set up shop (he has customers in ten states and 17 countries) and technological access to rural communities.

When Doug was ready to take on a large game-changing project to install a 35-mile, high-capacity fiber ring around Charleston, West Virginia that will deliver high-speed internet and data center connectivity to the area, he turned to the SBA-backed WV Small Business Development Center and the SBA’s West Virginia District Office.

Within a matter of days, lenders were lined up to look at the project and Alpha secured $4.8 million through the Mountain State’s first SBA Export Loan. The project is underway and will provide faster data transfer speeds starting at 1 Gigabit per second. Alpha’s goal is to revitalize the business community in West Virginia, which will pave the way for economic stability and growth through business expansion and job creation. For his efforts, Doug won the 2018 SBA West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year Award and was first runner-up for SBA’s National Small Business Person of the Year.

The SBA and our partner organizations empower veterans like Doug by equipping them with business startup counseling, training, access to capital, and contracting opportunities. Veterans are integral to the growth of America’s small businesses, and November 5 through November 9 we honor America’s “vetrepreneurs” with the fifth-annual National Veterans Small Business Week.

President Trump showed his dedication to small businesses and veterans by donating his second-quarter salary to the SBA to help our nation’s veterans transition from military service to entrepreneurship. The funds will assist the SBA with creating a seven-month, intensive entrepreneur training program specifically for veterans. Government efforts like these are critical to the successful transition process for service members exiting the military and considering entrepreneurship as their next move.

See https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/SBO_Facts_VOB.pdf

Join us in the celebration by following us on Twitter at @SBAgov and sharing your stories with the #VetBiz and #MyVetBiz hashtags.