Last week was National Veterans Small Business Week, and to honor that, the Small Business Administration is holding events called “Operation Fund My Biz” in Baltimore as well as all over the country. These events are intended to help veterans who own or want to own small businesses take their projects to the next level.
Attendees of the events had the chance to learn about micro-loan financing programs, meet one-on-one with representatives from banks and credit unions, as well as talk to representatives of government agencies that help with small business financing needs.
“For veterans right now, we have no fee or reduced fee loan for the veteran,” reports Ed Knox, Deputy District Director for the Small Business Administration. “So it gives them more money up front to put in their pocket to help grow their business.”
Events like these are important for the veteran community, which is often underserved by the business community. They give the chance to veterans to network with other business owners and gain resources, whether that’s a job interview or the chance to create their own business cards, over 27 million of which are printed daily.
Nicholas Cassadine, a Navy veteran who owns the Royal Razor barbershop in downtown Baltimore, affirms the value of events like these.
“It’s nice to know we are being appreciated and certain considerations are being made to help [veterans],” Cassadine says.
Through initiatives like Operation Fund My Biz, the Small Business Administration hopes to offset some of the hurdles that veterans commonly face. Events like these can bridge the gap between veterans and the communities they return to, or already belong in.