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Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center
Veterans In Business

To our active duty military personnel, we want you to know that when you come back to your jobs and companies, we are here to help you re-establish your government contracting market at no charge.  Meanwhile, we hope this message from the folks back home will also cheer you while you're away.

Resources Available To Arkansas Veterans In Business

There appears to be no centralized reference point for information relating to veterans in Arkansas who are in business or interested in going into business.  Although the Arkansas Procurement Center specializes only in government contracting, it is our intent to broaden the scope of our conference to all types of business, as a service to Arkansans in uniform.  The following list is the result of that research.  Suggestions for additional sites related to Veterans in Business may be submitted to apac@uaex.edu

This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.  

  • Center for Veterans Enterprise, "VetBiz," is at http://www.vetbiz.gov/.  Operated by Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington DC, it provides a wide range of information about starting and operating a business in all types of markets, from the perspective of veterans.  The site also provides information on, and online registration for, a comprehensive database of veteran-owned businesses. 
     
  • Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center, Region 6, serving Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.  Funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, it serves a wide range of audiences who are interested in or impacted by these laws, including employers, businesses, government agencies, schools, and people with disabilities. Expert staff members are available to provide training and publications and to respond to your inquiries via the toll-free hotline 800-949-4232. http://www.dlrp.org
     
  • The National Veterans Business Development Corporation was mandated by Congress in 1999 under The Veterans Entrepreneurship Act, PL 106-50. The organization's nickname is The Veterans Corp (TVC).  It partners with VetBiz (see above) and SBA (see below) and APTAC (of which APAC is a member). This is an independent non-profit organization that provides a variety of services, including assistance to VOSBs and SDVOSBs in securing bonding. Their site is http://www.veteranscorp.org/. To see the services they offer select "TVC Business Resource Center."
     
  • The Arkansas Highway & Transportation Department has no preference program or any other recognition of veteran owned contractors or suppliers. They only have programs for special license plates, parking, and vehicle registration, which a veteran owned business might qualify for. They also recognize veteran status in employment applications. They have no information about recognition of veteran owned businesses bidding on federally funded highway projects. Their site is at http://www.arkansashighways.com 
     
  • The U. S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a special page for Veterans Business Development at http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/ovbd/index.html
     
  • The U. S. Small Business Administration has a little-known loan program for military reservists and National Guard members whose businesses suffer economic hardship from their absence when they are called to active duty.  The veteran has only ninety days after returning to apply for the "Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program," so it is important to read this information immediately upon being called up.  Here is the site:  http://archive.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance/militaryreservistsloans/index.html.
     
  • SBA's Patriot Express Loan program is available to military community members including veterans, service-disabled veterans, service members leaving active duty, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, spouses of active duty members, and the widowed spouse of a service member who died during service, or of a service-connected disability.
     
  • The Veterans Business Outreach Center at University of Texas Pan American serves Arkansas as well as Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico with funding from SBA. Their services are described on their site at: http://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/ce_home/bdi_home/vboc_2012_home.
     
  • Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS), employment assistance for veterans http://www.dws.arkansas.gov/Programs/Veterans/index.htm. The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services (DWS) provides Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) staff at local One-Stop Career Centers throughout the state, who are thoroughly familiar with the full range of job development services and training programs available locally to veterans seeking employment. DVOP and LVER staff, through outreach with employers, develops increased hiring opportunities within the local work force by raising the awareness of employers of the availability and the benefit of hiring veterans.
     
  • Arkansas Department of Workforce Education, State Approving Agency for Veterans Training, http://ace.arkansas.gov/cte/veterans/Pages/default.aspx.
     
  • County Veterans Service Offices http://www.veterans.arkansas.gov/cvso.html.  These offices can also help veterans who wish to pursue the "service-disabled veteran business owner" credential, especially those seeking a "zero-benefits letter" from the Veterans Administration.  APAC will help with the certification after the veteran gets the disability letter.
     
  • Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs http://www.veterans.arkansas.gov/index.html. This site contains an excellent page of veterans’ organizations.   

One of the best-kept secrets is the Five Track program that includes self-employment (aka entrepreneurial training) in the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/index.htm .  

  • A sub-page of the VRE site includes information about the Five Tracks options and program definitions, including “self-employment”, which includes assistance in developing a business plan, training in the operation of a small business, etc. at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/vre/def.htm#5t.
     
  • The International Franchise Association helps veterans enter the business world by finding a suitable franchise opportunity.  The advantages of franchising instead of starting a brand new business include a popular brand name, a structured business model, training and support.    The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative has a link for a list of participating companies under "Franchising for Veterans" at http://www.franchise.org.
     
  • An affiliate of IFA is FranNet, The Franchise Connection, which provides services to veterans in Arkansas.  Its site is at http://www.frannet.com/.
     
  • The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) provides a variety of free services to veterans, reservists, and Guard, in addition to their assistance to other small businesses.  They are a non-profit organization that has a close relationship with SBA.  See what they offer at http://www.score.org/veteran.html.
     
  • Little Rock Vet Center – a wide variety of resources by "vets helping vets".
    http://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/facility.asp?ID=471&dnum=ALL 
     

 

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