Each year, the second week of November is the time to celebrate and support the small businesses that veterans and service members own during National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW).
According to a Small Business Administration (SBA) report, veteran-owned firms represent 9.1 percent of all U.S. businesses, yet in Maine, the percentage is even higher at 10.62% with nearly 15,982 small businesses operating in the state. Here is the entire list of Veteran Owned Businesses and/or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses in Maine, broken down by counties, cities and categories.
“It is easy to say ‘Thank you for your service” but supporting a veteran-owned business shows your true gratitude for those who served,” said Rosendel “Rosey” Gerry, a former Lincolnville Selectman.
See our sidebar for six local businesses located in Waldo and Knox County.
T&L Construction | Montville, ME 04941
Construction and remodeling company
VFW Belfast Maine | Belfast, ME 04915
Supporting Veterans, spouses, and families.
Aqua Terra Vapor Blasting | Saint George, ME 04860
A mobile abrasive blasting service company.
Atwood Lobster Company | Spruce Head, ME 04859
The biggest live lobster shipping facility in Maine.
Penobscot Bay Media | Camden, ME 04843
Comprehensive IT solutions
Sea Breeze Home and Commercial Services | Appleton, ME 04862
Exceptional cleaning services for all your cleaning needs.
Resources for New Businesses
For those who have served or currently serving, and who are interested in starting a business in Maine, there are a number of valuable resources to get one’s entrepreneurial idea off the ground.
With SCORE, there are a wealth of webinars, blog posts, and articles from funding to franchising to transitioning from a military career to entrepreneurship. In addition, SCORE offers free mentoring to all veterans at all of their chapters as people navigate their next business move. Here is their national webpage for Veteran resources and to contact them through local offices visit: SCORE
The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) is one of the centers listed in the SCORE web page and they have chapters in New England with a presence in Maine.
“We have a number of consultants and volunteers in Maine all over the state,” said Director of VBOC of New England Marco Capaldi. “We have a Boots to Business program [entrepreneurship courses] which had 100,000 participants nationwide and in Maine, we generally run two Boots to Business programs a year. I have two consultants in Lewiston-Auburn and one in Brunswick, at Brunswick Landing as well as 10 volunteers who help with any Maine veteran who contacts us.”
Capaldi said the best way to get started is to contact their office through their website.
“I try to come up six or eight times a year and do a lot of consultations by Skype,” said Capaldi. “We generally follow up through phone calls and emails and the clients lead the way. They tell us whether they want to do a consult or attend a class. We have a ton of resources to offer them and I also refer them to the local Maine Small Business and Training in southern Maine. We have a wonderful team down there I send a lot of folks.”
Capaldi said they are always looking for more Maine volunteers to help with Maine veterans and can be reached at MCapaldi@CWEonline.org
For other events going on this week celebrating veterans and their families visit: www.penbaypilot.com
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com