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VAMBOA: startup

By Debbie Gregory.

In what could be groundbreaking legislation, members of Congress are considering a bill that would allow Veterans to use their GI benefits to start businesses, rather than using them for a college education.

Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs member Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) is drafting the legislation, which could potentially lower the $1.4 billion the Pentagon spent in 2013 on unemployment for former military personnel.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, will introduce companion legislation in the Senate.

The idea has the backing of the military service organizations the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and others.

The education benefit can be as much as $260,000 for four years at a private college or university. For Veterans who aren’t interested in attending college or transferring their benefits to a dependent, this would be a great option. It certainly is better than leaving the benefit on the table.

Congress has worked in the past to help veterans receive small business loans. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 was a similar law that allowed Veterans to buy a farm, home or business property. It expired in 1956.

Fortenberry’s bill would create a three-year pilot program for 100 eligible veterans each fiscal year. Participants would be able to use up to three years of educational benefits to start or purchase a qualified business.

Participating Veterans would have needed to serve three years of full-time active duty. If they left active duty due to a service related disability, the time period is reduced to 24 months. Veterans would be required to apply for the program no more than 15 years after leaving the service.

In order to move forward with the program, Veterans would have to attend a boots-to-business course at an accredited university. Another caveat is that they would have to have their business plans approved.

The business startup modification to the G.I. Bill would have to be drawn up with safeguards to ensure that veterans have a chance for success. Since most startup businesses fail, the G.I. Bill proposal would need guarantees that Veterans applying for the program would receive mentorship and training.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business CoachingContracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: GI Benefits for Business Instead of Education?: By Debbie Gregory

energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, proudly present the 14th Annual DOE Small Business Forum & Expo, at the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, AZ, June 16-18, 2015.

The 14th Annual DOE Small Business Forum & Expo offers a robust agenda with educational sessions by DOE officials; small business managers and prime contractors to assist small businesses find opportunities within the agency.  Review the scheduled breakout sessions, descriptions and presenters and see which sessions are right for your company.

DOE and its prime contractors present the 2015 Business Matchmaking Session.  Small businesses will receive one-on-one exposure to potential Buyers who have first hand knowledge of procurement opportunities and acquisition assistance within their purview.

Matchmaking participants will receive invaluable opportunity to promote your firm’s products or services directly to procurement officials. These face-to-face Business Sessions are scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 from 1:00 pm – 4:30 p m. Only registered DOE2015 attendees will be able to schedule meetings.

The DOE2015 Exhibit Hall will provide small businesses opportunities to network with over 70 exhibitors including DOE site and facility management contractors, National Laboratories; large and small business, as well as other Federal agencies.  Only a limited number of exhibit spaces are remanding. To be part of this year’s exhibit hall, please review the exhibitor or supporter  packages.

This is a great opportunity to showcase your capabilities and solutions that will demonstrate how your company can become an integral part of the Department of Energy’s mission.  Check out the list of 2015 Exhibitors!

DOE2015 Conference Management Team
Email: InfoDOE@aetherquest.com
Website: smallbusinessconference.energy.gov

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business CoachingContracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

business ownerBy Debbie Gregory.

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions, and completing a series of legal activities. But for many Veterans, transitioning from service member to CEO may be a more natural path than they might have imagined.

Most experts agree that the two biggest components for Veterans preparing to start their own businesses are choosing the right kind of business for them, and securing capital. They also recommended that aspiring business owners take time to think about where their passion lies.

VetFran Manager George Eldridge encourages Veterans interested in business ownership to do their research and examine all possibilities.

“In the military you think, ‘I can’t fail,’ but sometimes you have to think about the risks you’re getting into and have a balanced expectation when getting into something like this,” he said.

Veterans who are considering franchise ownership may want to start by surfing VetFran’s website. With more than 100 different franchise industries to peruse, there is something for every interest. The most popular franchises are in the food industry, followed by hospitality, home-based businesses, child care and pet care.

Although VetFran does not offer funding, it connects Veterans with funding assistance by working closely with the SBA and lenders within its supplier group.

The SBA offers a checklist for Veterans interested in starting a business. It suggests starting with a business plan, which is like a roadmap to determine your starting point, where you are going, and how to arrive at success through proper planning, preparation and management. The checklist also covers things like licenses, tax ID numbers, taxes, finance, location, etc.

Financing opportunities are plentiful for Veterans. The SBA, through its 68 field offices around the U.S. and 1,000 resource partners, has Veterans Business Outreach Centers around the country offering information on how to gain access to capital.

For Veteran-specific programs, the SBA helps businesses obtain reduced loan fees for any loan under $350,000.

Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital (LINC) is an online tool that connects loan seekers and lenders. By answering just a few questions, applicants can reach out to lenders all over the country.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Ready to Start Your Own Business?: By Debbie Gregory

SBA San Diego District Office

SBA’s participation in this activity is not an endorsement of any products, services or entity.

The National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB) in collaboration with Veterans Preference Inc. prestents the Women in Housing Financial Fitness Road Show and Military Women in Business. This road show provides a specialized hybrid of women in housing and women in government outreach to teach women how to grow their businesses both vertically and horizontally.

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Location: Courtyard by Marriott (Liberty Station), 2592 Laning Road, San Diego, CA
Time: 9:30am – 5:30 pm
Cost: $40 (Free to Active Duty/Veteran Females and Active Duty/Veteran Female Spouses.
(Lunch will be served)

Featured Speakers:

Photo: Ruben Garcia

Ruben Garcia, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration, San Diego

Photo: Dana Wilde

Dana Wilde, Author of “Train Your Brain: How to Build a Million Dollar Business in Record Time”

Photo: Scott Burnett

Scott Burnett, One of the nation’s leading legal authorities on asset protection and tax education for business owners in America.

This event will feature:

  • How to qualify for an SBA Loan
  • How to win government contracts set aside for your business
  • How to stimulate brain power to create new ideas
  • How to start growing your business more quickly right now
  • How to have consistency in your income
  • How to keep more of what you make

Click Here for more information

Event Contact:  NAWRB – (949) 559-9800
www.NAWRB.com

vamboa small bizBy Debbie Gregory.

While California has many qualities to brag about, great weather, a beautiful coastline, and more tourist attractions that any two-week vacation could do justice to, the state does have one very big black mark.

California was rated the worst state in the country for small business owners. According to a survey conducted by Thumbtack, last year the Golden State resulted in an “F” rating based on categories such as ease of hiring, regulations, and training and networking programs. California earned a grade of F for its labor, health and safety, and environmental regulations, and a D for its tax code, licensing, and zoning laws.

Among the states rated at the top was Virginia, the high ranking based on the friendliness of its health and safety, labor, and licensing regulations. Also highly rated were Texas and Utah.

Keeping California company at the bottom were Rhode Island, Illinois, and to a lesser extent, Connecticut and New Jersey.

If you’re curious as to how your state ranked in the Thumbtack survey, you can view the results here: http://www.sbecouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BTI2015SBECouncil.pdf .

As far as the best places for employees to work for small business, WalletHub looked at 100 of the country’s largest metro areas, considering the number of business with less than 250 employees per every 1,000 residents, small business job growth, diversity of industries, percentage of small businesses offering health insurance to employees and employee earnings adjusted for cost of living.

North Carolina accounts for two of the top 10 locations, with Charlotte taking the number one spot, and Raleigh taking second place. At the other end of the spectrum, the Youngstown, Ohio area takes the title for the worst metro area in which to work for a small business, followed by Stockton, California. The Stockton metro area holds among the lowest rates of small business job growth, lowest numbers of small businesses per 10,000 residents, and lowest earnings for small business employees when adjusted for cost of living.

California holds three places on the “bottom ten, “with Fresno and Bakersfield also joining the ranks. Like Stockton, Bakersfield suffers from low small business job growth, and few small businesses per 1,000 residents.

Sorry, California. But you’re a great place to visit!

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: The Best and Worst States for Small Businesses: By Debbie Gregory

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