Growing Your Business

Mezza Café - Lemoyne, PA

Supporting Veteran-Owned Businesses

If you are a veteran entrepreneur who is either interested in starting or currently owns a business in Pennsylvania, there are many organizations that offer services specifically geared toward supporting you and your business. The resources below range from local to national and offer specific opportunities and funding to veteran-owned businesses.

State Resources

Veterans and reservists starting a small business in Pennsylvania are exempt from paying a business fee, which is any fee required to be paid to the state government or a political subdivision for starting or opening a business in the state. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of State website to learn more about the Veteran-Owned Business Fee Exemption and its requirements. For more general information about registering a business in Pennsylvania, make sure to view our Register section.

Veterans have a significant impact on the economy as owners of their own businesses. The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) provide services to all small business populations and make special efforts to reach members of all historically underrepresented and underserved populations, including veterans. Learn more about the SBDC resources for veteran-owned businesses in Pennsylvania.

Regional Resources

The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program is a one-stop shop for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business. VBOCs provide transition assistance programs, including nationally acclaimed Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot, as well as business development assistance such as training, counseling, mentoring, and resource referrals. The Mid-Atlantic Veterans Business Outreach Center – Empowering Veteran Entrepreneurs serves Pennsylvania residents.

Federal Resources

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) services are designed to help a services-connected disabled veteran with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Its Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for Veterans and Service members to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their employment goals. Learn more and apply for education and career counseling on the Opens in new windowVR&E website.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers many types of support for veterans as they enter the world of business ownership. SBA programs feature customized curriculums, in-person classes, and online courses to give veterans the training to succeed. These programs teach the fundamentals of business ownership, SBA resources, and small business experts. Veterans can also connect with lenders through SBA’s Opens in new windowLender Match Tool. Learn more about the Opens in new windowSBA’s resources for veteran-owned businesses.

The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the Opens in new windowService-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVETP) program. Joining the SDVETP makes your business eligible to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts. You can still compete for contract awards under other socioeconomic programs for which your business is qualified.

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