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Hamden Offers Veterans Business Assistance


Hamden Offers Veterans Business Assistance

By Kyle Del Balso

Hamden recognizes the dedication and service by our military personal and is forever thankful. Our military sacrifices their lives for our freedom and as a community it is essential we give back. The Town understands the struggle of veteran underemployment and the importance of veterans in the workforce. In an effort to bring awareness to the opportunities available for veteran entrepreneurs, Hamden is developing a Veterans Business Assistance Guide.

U.S Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) is utilized by veteran entrepreneurs for training, counseling, and oversight. The OVBD mission is to “maximize the availability, applicability and usability of small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their dependents or survivors”. One of the main ways they accomplish this is through their Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC). Services provided by the Centers include pre-business plan workshops, workshops on self-employment and developing and expanding businesses, business plan preparations, assisting in the development of a five-year business plan, entrepreneurial training and counseling, mentorship, etc. The Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England covers Connecticut and is located in Providence, RI.

The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) provides additional assistance through programs such as Boots to Business (veteran entrepreneurship program), Service Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program and Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program. Local veteran services are carried out by the SBA’s Connecticut District Office located in Hartford with a field office in Bridgeport.

Under the SBA Veterans Advantage, veterans can seek guarantees on loans approved to business if their business is at least 51% owned by a veteran or military spouse. Veterans can also receive loans of up to $2 million to cover operating costs that cannot be met due to the loss an essential employee called to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard under the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL).

Partnered with the SBA to provide more local entrepreneurial aid, veterans can seek out one of the many Connecticut Small Business Development Centers in Connecticut (CTSBDC). The CTSBDC is not a veteran specific program but currently does 7% of its business with veterans and their families. The nearest CTSBC’s to Hamden include the CTSBDC at New Haven Free Public Library on 182 Grand Ave and the CTSBDC at the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce on 393 Main Street.

For more Connecticut locations click https://americassbdc.org/small-business-consulting-and-training/find-your-sbdc/.

Under the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), veterans can utilize the New Haven Vet Center, located in 291 South Lambert Road Orange, Connecticut.  Services from the center include counseling for veterans and/or family members, community outreach and education, substance abuse assessment and referral, employment referral and other VA services.

For veterans not interested in starting their own business but are seeking employment, the National Veterans Foundation (NVF) has a Veterans Job Listing Board. To see the Veterans Job Listing Board click https://jobs.nvf.org/veterans-job-board-listings/.

For more information on the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) go to https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/grow-your-business/veteran-owned-businesses

For more information on the Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) go to https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ovbd or contact Director – VBOC of NE Marco Capaldi at (844) 404-2171.

For any local veteran assistance questions contact Veterans Affairs Officer for the Connecticut District Office Frank Alvarado at frank.alverado@sba.gov or (203)-335-0427.

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