For Immediate Release
April 25, 2013
Congressman Steve Southerland to host Small Business Conference at Gulf Coast State College
Panama City, FL - Congressman Steve Southerland invites all small business owners to the Get to the Point, Sharpen Your Business Skills conference at Gulf Coast State College. This informative conference features various speakers focusing on how small businesses can take advantage of creative marketing opportunities through social media, website optimization, and online marketing.
The Congressman will hold an informative discussion session highlighting recent developments in Washington and comment on issues that affect our region. Small businesses account for 85% of America’s economy and Southerland supports small business owners acknowledging that their success is vital to a strong economic future.
This no-cost event is open to the public and is hosted by the Small Business Development Center, Gulf Coast State College, the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, and the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce. The conference will be held in the GCSC Student Union East Conference Center on May 30th from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Please visit www.gulfcoast.edu/smallbusiness for information and to register. Lunch is included with pre-registration by May 23rd. Sponsorships and booths are available.
# # #
Alan Parker, a successful African American veteran business owner is honored in celebration of February's Black History Month
A new veteran owned employment search web site, Golden Orb.org, helps both enlisted men and officers access educational and employment opportunities translated from their military career. Helping veterans find employment is a passion for Alan Parker, a Naval Academy graduate. He has personally witnessed how difficult it is for veterans to find quality opportunities after the military. Alan and his business partner, Evan Altemus, started an online job search company, with the help of the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). Many things that military personnel do, is relatable in the job market.
Golden Orb provides the platform for veterans to post resumes containing military jargon and uses military language as an advantage for employment opportunities. The mission of Golden Orb is to answer the following questions that will allow veterans to efficiently apply for positions and providing them with the necessary information that is needed to apply more successfully.
Opportunities with large and small companies are available, as well as opportunities with some of the best schools in the country. This website features only quality schools and companies.
Alan’s website provides limitless opportunities for veterans entering the workforce or seeking to improve their earning capabilities through opportunity. The company is named Golden Orb because The Golden Orb spider creates the strongest web in nature, and veterans have the strongest network in the business world.
VBOC started working with Alan starting in May of 2012 and assisted him through the development of the business model. Alan says of VBOC, "Len Eichler has helped us understand the details of this venture". http://www.goldenorb.org/
Florida Ranks 3rd for the Greatest Number of Veteran-Owned Businesses
VBOC Panama City Office: On November 11, Americans celebrate those who have served our country. There are over one million service men and women returning over the next five years, many having served multiple tours of duty. These veterans have the leadership, skills, and experience that have the ability to transfer into strong, job-creating businesses.
Currently, veterans own 2.45 million businesses in the United States, about 9% of America's total businesses. These businesses employ approximately 6 million Americans. According to the March 2012 Report by the U.S. SBA Office of Advocacy highlighting veteran-owned businesses, Florida ranks 3rd for the greatest number of veteran-owned businesses. Florida has 176,727 veteran-owned businesses with revenue of $61.9 billion. Of these, 35,548 provide jobs for 310,154 people with an annual payroll of $10.6 billion.
"America's veterans deserve every opportunity possible to benefit from resources that could help them build successful small businesses and create jobs," said Jerry Cartwright, State Director of the FSBDC Network.
The FSBDC Network and its specialized program, the Veteran's Business Outreach Center (VBOC), continues to reach out to support veterans by providing the tools they need to succeed in business, such as access to capital, entrepreneurial education, markets, services and business networking opportunities.
Over the last 10 years, the FSBDC Network served 26,758 veterans through consulting, training and information, resulting in 1.1 million jobs created and saved; $284 million in sales revenue growth; $913.3 million in government contracts awarded; $53 million in capital accessed; and 795 new businesses created.
Within the last year FY2011, the Veterans Business Outreach Center, at Gulf Coast State College, counseled 481 veteran business owners, 200 Service Disabled Veteran Business Owners, 89 Women Veteran Business Owners, 101 National Guard/Reservists. Return on Investment $20,329,685. In Government Contracts awarded to FL Veteran Owned businesses last year, Florida Veterans assisted by VBOC received $1,737,750 total capital formation FY2011, 86 Florida Veteran jobs created and retained. VBOC Associate Director Brenton Peacock says, ‘as the troop drawdown continues, the VBOC is finding more veteran entrepreneurs with unique skill sets that fit into the business environment.’ VBOC looks to serve increased numbers of Florida Veterans as part of Operation Boots to Business, a new on site business training curriculum targeted to separating military members.
Congressman Fortenberry's New GI Bill Promises Veteran Entrepreneurship And Jobs Creation; Bill Authored By Service Disabled Veteran
October 19, 2011
On October 13, with little fanfare, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) introduced the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition (VET) Act of 2011. H.R 3167 is a landmark new GI Bill allowing veterans to start new business, and create new jobs.
PALM SPRINGS, CA, October 19, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- On October 13, with little fanfare, Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) introduced the Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition (VET) Act of 2011, a landmark new GI Bill that would allow veterans to use their already budgeted educational benefits earned under existing GI Bills, to start up new small businesses.
The VET Act (H.R. 3167) is a GI Bill aimed at addressing the unacceptably high veteran unemployment rate, as well as to help quickly re-build a new generation of veteran-owned small business enterprises across America as the backbone of new job creation.
This GI Bill was written as a revenue-neutral piece of legislation, meaning that enactment of the new bill and payout of veterans benefits would have a nominal effect on the Federal Budget, perhaps generating a budget surplus. In fact, the new GI Bill simply provides a small business ownership option to which veterans can apply the value of educational benefits earned under existing GI Bills.
Patriot Enterprise Project, Inc, a nonprofit GI Bill advocate, estimates that the VET Act could foster tens of thousands of new small businesses, and upwards of five hundred thousand new jobs veteran and civilian.
Key immediate and long-term objectives of this landmark, non-partisan GI Bill are:
- A self-employment veterans benefits option for the over 1,000,000 unemployed veterans
- It would return 100% of the veterans benefits back to the Federal budget through new employee payroll tax revenue.
- Produce an estimated $100 billion reduction in long-term veteran health and senior care.
- As a new recruiting incentive, this GI Bill would reduce the Department of Defense's $5 billion recruiting and retention budget, while increasing the quality of new recruits.
Veterans and small business service organizations supporting the new GI Bill include Federal Allies Institute, National Guard Association of the United States, Partnership for America and Vietnam Veterans of America.
Fortenberry said "Giving veterans entrepreneurial opportunity by giving them access to capital through a benefit that's already defined by the federal government to us seems a way to meet multiple policy objectives of job creation, assistance to veterans and empowerment of small business entrepreneurs"
The new GI Bill was originally authored by Andy Gibbs, Chairman of Patriot Enterprise Project, a nonprofit advocating passage of the Vet Act of 2011.
Gibbs suggests that "Creating a landmark GI Bill that could change the future for a million veterans should be the job for a national veteran service organization with a huge budget and legal staff, not for an ex-combat medic working on a shoestring budget. I could sit back and hope, or learn the legislative process and lead out. I'm not one to sit back and hope."
California Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez was an early supporter, and opened a valuable channel for Gibbs to get some direction from a few legislative consultants.
Gibbs is a service disabled Vietnam-era veteran, and Palm Springs-based small business owner. Last November, he attended Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur Growth Forum in Palm Desert where Aneesh Chopra, President Obama's Chief Technology Officer was scheduled to speak.
During a panel discussion on veteran entrepreneurship, Chopra said "it doesn't take an Act of Congress to help veterans get into business - the government has websites". Gibbs argued that "an 'Act of Congress' is precisely what's required; I'm writing a new GI Bill".
A year later, H.R. 3167 is what Chopra termed "impossible".
Gibbs notes "Palm Springs, CA is about as far removed from Capital Hill as you can get. I applaud Congressman Fortenberry for bridging the distance, and introducing America's next GI Bill."
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 40 percent of returning veterans will never earn a degree under the existing GI Bill, and more than 35 percent want to own a small business.
Under the VET Act, veterans could quickly start small business, becoming farmers, ranchers, plumbers, heavy equipment operators, small town doctors, and nurses.
The new GI Bill still has a long road to enactment, with reviews by the House Committees for Veterans Affairs, Small Business, and Agriculture.
Gibbs hopes that the official introduction of H.R. 3167 will now help his nonprofit organization start generating the donations required to support a stepped-up advocacy program through 2012.
"If this Bill isn't signed by President Obama by September, it will be lost in the elections, and we'll need to start from scratch again in 2013. Veterans, and America need jobs now. It's the right bill, at the right time, for the right reasons".
ABOUT PATRIOT ENTERPRISE PROJECT
Patriot Enterprise Project, Inc. is a nonprofit company headquartered in Palm Springs, California. Founded by service-disabled veteran Andy Gibbs, it was formed for the sole purpose of authoring and advocating passage of a landmark GI Bill that would return a key provision in President's 1945 GI Bill of Rights to a 21st Century GI Bill - namely, affirmative support for veterans who would start new businesses or agribusinesses.
Gibbs started his research and drafting of the new GI Bill in early 2010. Nearly two years later, the bill has been introduced in Congress as The Veterans Entrepreneurial Transition Act of 2011.
FL SDVOB’s get Preferential Treatment
House Bill 687 became law and leveled the competitive field for Florida’s Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses (SDVOSB) in June as it received the governor’s signature.
As Governor Charlie Crist signed into law the new legislation mandating SDVOSB preference in state contracting, State Representatives Jimmy Patronis and Marti Coley; Executive
Director of the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins, Jr.; military dignitaries, along with Certified Business Analysts Tony Zacchio and Brent Peacock of the Veterans Business Outreach Center
(VBOC) accompanied the governor and looked on during the signing at Tyndall Air Force Base. The new legislation aims at providing preferential treatment to service-disabled veteran small business owners
who do business with the State. Tony Zacchio, Director of the VBOC, said, “This new legislation will empower our veteran-owned businesses to be more competitive statewide,” and he is confident “the positive trend for these vets will continue nationally.”
The new legislation went into effect on November 11th 2008.
The BIG IDEA has hit the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)!
The BIG IDEA starring Donny Deutsch airs on CNBC nightly at 10pm ET and features the best and brightest in the arena of business. On Thursday September 11th, our very own Tony Zacchio of the VBOC Region IV was featured as a guest expert panelist on the business community’s acclaimed national television show. With a large and loyal national audience, the exposure and credence for our programs is immense.
The topic of the segment was based around a couple in Alabama that is trying to launch a new innovative product in the sports training market. Other panelists included Don Mattingly (Baseball Great & MVP), who spoke of techniques to launch an ecommerce baseball product website; Jim Koch (Founder of Samuel Adams Beer) provided first hand distribution and marketing advice; Keith Meisser (Texas Rangers Team Doctor) discussed following through with physical therapy rehab market; Jeff Taylor (Founder of monster.com) provided website re-design advice; and Mel Robbins provided “life encouragement” advice.
The husband is a veteran of the armed forces and therefore The BIG IDEA turned to Tony, the Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Center, for assistance with local business counseling resources and mentoring for his budding enterprise. Check out The BIG IDEA with Donny Deutsch nightly on CNBC at 10:00 pm or online at http://www.cnbc.com/id/15838512/site/14081545/.
In-Depth business training for veterans!
Veterans with disabilities are being provided opportunities in entrepreneurship, thanks to cutting edge experiential training offered by the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV), held mid-June at Florida State University in Tallahassee FL. Region IV Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Certified Business Analysts participated in the week long “Bootcamp- like” curriculum by addressing these future entrepreneurs on the role the VBOC can play in their business venture. The EBV was introduced by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in 2007. By 2008 the EBV consortium of Schools was launched by partnering with UCLA Anderson School of Management, Florida State University College of Business, and the Mays Business School at Texas A & M University. Week long workshops in Business Plan Development, Utilizing the Resources of the Department of Labor for self-employment, and how to use Disability Benefits in your self-employment plan were presented as well as addresses on how the Veterans Business Outreach Center can assist entrepreneurs in all aspects of business start up. On June 12, VBOC Director, Tony Zacchio and CBA, Brent Peacock fielded questions and discussed the advantages of working with the VBOC during the on-going start up process of a small business. The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans is entirely free as a result of the support of the EBV Universities and private donations from individuals and corporations.
The Wounded Warrior Project began when several individuals took small, inspired actions to help others in need. One night while watching the evening news, a group of veterans and brothers were moved by the difficult stories of the first wounded service members returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq. They realized then and there that something needed to be done for these brave individuals beyond the brass bands and ticker tape parades. The resulting objective was to provide tangible support for the severely wounded and help them on the road to healing, both physically and mentally. The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, To help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of severely injured service members.
In 2002, the International Franchise Association and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs signed an official memorandum of understanding to jointly promote the VetFran program. IFA’s members’ work in support of our nation’s veterans has been recognized by the Veteran Administration’s Center for Veterans Enterprise that honored the IFA by naming it a “Support Sector Champion” in 2003. IFA also works with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress, military organizations and other entities to promote VetFran via additional government channels. VetFran and participating companies are frequently featured on Web sites targeted to military personnel leaving active service. Through the support of the IFA’s media department, VetFran and its member companies are included in new articles about franchising throughout print and electronic mediums and articles regularly appear in IFA’s Franchising World magazine. Providing information and options to our veterans is one of the missions of the VetFran program.
Office of Veterans Business Development
“We Salute All Veterans”
News Letters: VET Gazette
SBA VET NEWS: http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/ovbd/news/index.html