Veterans Resource Fair aims to help veterans start businesses

BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — With Veterans Day this week, everyone is reminded and respects all of the sacrifices those who serve make. Many even take the time to help our nation’s veterans the best they can.

One group that met Thursday in downtown Binghamton did just that. A group of representatives from state and local agencies and organizations met to discuss how to best disperse the resources available to veterans, especially when it comes to starting businesses.

“Today’s event was an opportunity to let vets in our region know about what opportunities for services are available to them from a variety of different agencies and sources,” said Chuck Scherwin, a Certified Business Adviser with the Small Business Development Center of Binghamton.

“To really educate the veterans about the benefits that are available to them from the SPA and our partners to assist in entrepreneurship,” said Dan Rickman, Branch Manager for Eastern New York and the Southern Tier with the US Small Business Administration.

Many veterans come home and don’t realize all of the possibilities they have through some of these organizations. Instead of just going and getting a simple job, veterans can go start a business in something they actually like, and even make great money doing so. It’s not an easy road, but the opportunity to learn and grow is there. These sort of business start-ups are great for both person and community.

“The more benefits that vets can take advantage of, the better we’re actually helping the state because we’re getting more economic growth back in from Washington. It’s good for the state, good for the vets,” said Schwerin.

Many of the business representatives there, including Rickman, who’s been out of the service for 15 years, are veterans themselves. They take great pride in helping those who served like them.

“But just kind of re-engaging with the community of veterans has been tremendously rewarding. Seeing a lot of those folks that you worked with successfully start and grow their business, is really awesome,” said Rickman.

New York has one of the highest populations of veterans within the state, and the collaboration effort Thursday morning was another step toward helping as many as possible. Though only a few veterans were on hand with the representatives today, the information shared should go a long way in the future.

For more information on some of the resources available to help veterans, you can visit sba.gov.

Damon Matson

Damon Matson

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