As we approach the Independence Day holiday, we want to offer special thanks to the nearly 1.5 million active members of the American military and additional millions who are veterans of the U.S. armed forces. In particular, we salute the 2.5 million veterans who own American small businesses.
Beyond their contributions in service to country, veterans have a profound impact on the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, veteran-owned small businesses employ more than 5 million people at an annual payroll of nearly $200 billion and account for $1.14 trillion in sales.
At Womply, we recently conducted a national poll of small business owners in all 50 states. According to our data, 8.52% of U.S. small business owners are either veterans or active military. A few additional facts from our study:
- They’re true-blue entrepreneurs: Small business owners with military experience are 14% more likely to say they’ve always wanted to start a business.
- They value their employees: They’re 2.2x less likely to reduce staff headcount at their business.
- They really want tax reform: They’re 27% more likely to say taxes are the top policy issue they want overhauled.
- They’re overwhelmingly Baby Boomers: 41% are 65 or older.
There are plenty of resources available to small business owners who’ve served in the armed forces. Here’s a quick rundown:
- The SBA has a bunch of ways to help veterans start or grow an independent business venture.
- The National Veteran Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) advocates for entrepreneurs with a military background and helps them find business opportunities.
- Similarly, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) provides “networking, collaboration, mentoring, education, certification and advocacy.”
- The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has programs that help military entrepreneurs compete for government contracts, win procurement bids, and more.
This 4th of July holiday, tip your hat to members of the American armed forces because of their sacrifices in combat abroad and their contributions to economic prosperity at home.
Bonus: Read Forbes’ list of the top 25 veteran-owned small businesses in the country!