May is Military Appreciation Month. It is a time for us to reflect on the hard work that our military does every day to help preserve our freedom and keep us safe. This month, we are especially grateful veterans who have bravely served our country and are continuing to serve differently as civilians. People who spend time in the often develop strong leadership skills, which is why many of them start businesses of their own when their time in the military is over. Below are four ways you can help support veteran-owned businesses.
Write Reviews and Share on Social Media
When you want to know about a restaurant or local business, where is the first place you go? Most people turn to Google Reviews or even Facebook Reviews. Building social trust is important for any organization, but it can be especially helpful for veteran-owned businesses.
If you have had a great experience with a veteran-owned business, say it loud and proud on as many social channels as you can. It is also helpful to share the business’ page and tag it in any post you make about the business.
Mentor a Veteran
If you are a business owner, you are in a special position to help veterans looking to start an endeavor of their own. One of the best and most rewarding things you can do is mentor someone just starting up with their own business. There is no right way to mentor, but there are a few things you can do that are particularly helpful:
- Share local, state, and federal resources for veteran-owned businesses
- Answer any questions that they may have about the business world
- Set them up with other people in their industry or industry-adjacent businesses to help them get started
Breaking into the business world can be daunting, but with a good mentor, it can be less stressful.
Host a Veteran-Owned Business Showcase
While COVID-19 means it is not currently possible to host an in-person showcase, you could consider doing a virtual showcase or planning something for when restrictions lift and it is safe to gather in groups again.
Showcasing veteran-owned businesses to others in the community is one of the best ways to support them. Consider working with your local fire department or community center to find a large enough space to accommodate a variety of businesses.
Small and local veteran-owned businesses will need more support than ever once things start to go back to normal. COVID-19 has had an adverse effect on many businesses and veteran-owned organizations are not exempt.
Frequent Veteran-Owned Businesses
The best thing that you can do right now to support veteran-owned businesses is to give them your business. Most businesses are finding ways to stay open, whether that is online, through curbside pickup, or via phone. Reach out to your local veteran-owned businesses to see how you can help support them.
Applied Development CEO Kimberly Citizen is proud to be a US Army veteran and helps support fellow women-owned and veteran-owned businesses at every opportunity. If you have questions about Applied Development or how you can help support veteran-owned businesses, give us a call at 410.571.4016 or contact us on the website.