Independence Day is upon us and amongst the fireworks, sunshine and ice cream, we should take time to reflect on the veterans both active and retired who have served our country. We here at the Cayuga Economic Development Agency (CEDA) want to take a moment to highlight the services that are available for veterans in Cayuga County. In addition to our programs and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs, there are programs specific to veterans. One such program is the Boots to Business Reboot online workshop being held July 29-30th.
Boots to Business Reboot is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals. Veterans of all eras, Active Duty Service members (including National Guard and Reserve), and spouses are eligible to participate. During Reboot, participants are introduced to the skills, knowledge, and resources they need to launch a business, including steps for developing business concepts, how to develop a business plan, and information on SBA resources available to help. The program is facilitated by subject matter experts from the SBA and their extensive network of skilled business advisors. To register for this workshop, please visit: https://sbavets.force.com/
The SBA also has its Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC): https://www.sba.gov/page/veterans-business-outreach-center-vboc-program . The VBOC program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. The SBA has 22 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as VBOC support services. The regional centers offer can tailor the support services to the specific needs of the client, including international trade, franchising, internet marketing, accounting, and more.
Cayuga County offers veteran services locally and more information can be found on the county website: https://www.cayugacounty.us/318/Veterans-Service-Agency This agency connects veterans to a wide variety of services to veterans, their dependents and survivors through counseling, claims assistance, and education, advocacy, and connection to services to keep veterans and their families healthy and living in their community.
We also want to remind Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs) to certify as such. Becoming certified could open a small, veteran-owned business to bid opportunities they may not have otherwise been aware of. However, it is important to understand that this certification does not guarantee any contracts. It opens up the opportunity to bid but does not require an agency or entity to utilize your business specifically. For more information about the SDVOB certification, including eligibility and how to apply, visit https://www.ny.gov/services/become-certified-service-disabled-veteran-owned-small-business. To search the directory of certified SDVOBs, visit https://online.ogs.ny.gov/SDVOB/search
If you are a local business that would like to support a Veteran Program right here in Cayuga County, the County Clerk has partnered with the Auburn Downtown Business District, the County Veterans Office, and the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce to create the “Return the Favor” Program. The program allows local businesses to offer discounts to Veterans. For more information, visit: https://www.cayugacounty.us/365/Veterans-Return-the-Favor-Program
The Cayuga Economic Development Agency and SCORE volunteers can work with veterans to connect them to these resources and to offer one on one mentoring. If you are a veteran or know a veteran with a goal of owning their own business or expanding their current business and need help figuring out the right path to take, tell them to contact us to schedule a free and confidential meeting with our Small Business Development Specialist. With many services to offer new and existing businesses at 2 State Street, give us a call to find out how we might be able to assist your business.