Veterans Day is approaching, and we have countless and compelling reasons to be thankful for all the men and women who have so faithfully served our country.
You already know how indebted we are to our veterans. They’ve all paid an incredibly high price to secure and maintain the freedoms that we so often take for granted. They and their families paid that price emotionally, physically, mentally, and with vast portions of their time.
If that weren’t enough already, it turns out we have another big reason to be grateful.
Veterans also represent a massive portion of the small business owners in the United States.
So, vets serve by giving their time, livelihood, and vitality in the armed services. And then they come home and do it all over again by building businesses to serve their local communities. Talk about indebtedness - we owe so very much to these men and women.
Let’s take a closer look at how veterans serve in our local communities.
The bigger picture of small business
First, it’s important to understand how small businesses in general contribute to our economy and our communities.
Small businesses are literally the backbone of the U.S. economy. Our nation would collapse in one giant heap of ruin without them.
As of this year, small businesses provide 46.4% of all employment opportunities in the private sector1. More than 99% of all businesses in the United States are classified as small businesses1. All of those businesses produce 43.5% of our GDP, contributing massively to tax revenues1 - especially considering that our tax code is not at all friendly to small businesses. If that isn’t compelling enough, stop to think about your town. Can you think of more than a handful of services that aren’t small businesses?
Gas stations, plumbers, grocery stores, electricians, CPAs, mechanics, dentists, restaurants, arborists, manufacturing, feed stores, construction companies, doctors… just to name a few. Almost all small businesses. Now, imagine if all of those were just gone, or worse - run by the government.
Our economy and society would literally implode into utter chaos.
How veterans fit into that picture
Are you ready to be blown away?
A staggering 9.1% of small businesses in the United States are owned by veterans 2. And of those 2.51 million veteran owners, 7.3% of them have service-related disabilities.
Almost one-tenth of those services I mentioned above are provided by vets. Can you see how impactful this is? Many veterans didn’t stop after serving in the military. They moved from serving our nation in the armed forces to serving our local communities, providing services we often take for granted. They help to keep the very beating heart of our economy pumping with their work.
Veterans, we owe you so very much. Thank you for your service to our country by wearing a uniform. And thank you for coming back to our small communities and continuing to serve us by putting on another kind of uniform.
I honor and salute you.
How this will make you money
Usually, I conclude my issues by telling you how this article can make you more money.
For many of you reading this, it may not make you more money this week. But if you’re a veteran (and there’s a 10% chance you are), I hope this does somehow make you more money. Perhaps you’ll be encouraged to keep up the fight or maybe others who read this will look for more ways to support veteran-owned businesses.
Either way, it was absolutely worth taking this week to shine a spotlight on you.
Your action items
Your action items this week are simple:
- Find some veteran-owned businesses in your community
- Take some time to be intentionally grateful for all the ways they have and are continuing to serve the American people.
Thank you, veterans, for helping to secure and maintain our freedom to live and prosper in this country. Two things that make this country so great: our opportunity to operate our own businesses in a free market and all of those who have bravely sacrificed to provide that opportunity.
Happy Veterans Day!