With Wednesday being Veterans Day, this week, Gov. Ron DeSantis and state agencies recognized veteran-owned, small businesses that contribute to Florida’s economy.
The state of Florida offers multiple resources to connect veteran-owned businesses with opportunities for growth and prosperity.
“We continue working to ensure Florida remains the most veteran-friendly state, offering programs that support Florida’s hardworking, well-trained, and skilled veterans who make great contributions toward Florida’s workforce and economy,” said DeSantis on Tuesday. “I encourage all veteran small businesses and entrepreneurs to take advantage of the state resources available to support their growth”
The state of Florida has resources for veteran-owned small businesses available across multiple agencies:
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) recently launched the Florida Defense Cybersecurity Training Program. Through a grant from the US Department of Defense (DoD), DEO, along with their partner, FloridaMakes, will provide a series of intensive trainings and technical assistance for small and medium-sized Florida Defense Contractors to help them meet the rigorous new cybersecurity standards implemented by the DoD for all businesses who wish to contract with them.
Additionally, DEO encourages veteran business owners to visit www.FloridaJobs.org/SmallBusiness to learn more about various loan programs and opportunities to access capital available.
“We are proud to support veteran-owned businesses who call Florida their home and use their unique skills to create jobs and opportunities for families throughout our state,” said Dane Eagle, the executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Florida is leading the way by providing multiple avenues for veteran entrepreneurs to utilize these resources to help create and grow their businesses.”
Florida Department of Management Services
The Florida Department of Management Services’ (DMS) Office of Supplier Diversity certifies eligible veteran-owned businesses to enhance their opportunities to do business with the state. Beginning in January 2021, veteran-owned businesses will gain access to discounted surplus federal equipment through DMS’ Federal Property Assistance program.
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, Florida supports the prosperity of Florida-based veteran-owned business – providing real growth opportunities for our men and women in uniform that return to civilian life and start a business here in our state,” said Florida Department of Management Services Sec. Jonathan Satter. “Our team is dedicated to improving resources and services that support those who served our country.”
Florida Department of State
“Our military veterans and their families bring so much to our communities,” said Sec. of State Laurel Lee. “The Florida Department of State is proud to support the men and women who have served our country, and we work to ensure that it’s easy to start a veteran-owned business in Florida.”
Prospective business owners can find helpful information – from how to start a business to tax information and forms – on the Florida Division of Library and Information Services business website, and the Florida Electronic Library provides searchable resources designed to help small business entrepreneurs. The Florida Division of Corporations’ “Mind Your Sunbizness!” resource page provides a list of helpful reminders for business owners about when and how to submit corporate filings, and to be sure your business information is accurate and up to date.
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DPBR) offers full fee waivers for honorably discharged military veterans and their spouses when applying for a state license, for active-duty members and their spouses in keeping their licenses current during deployment, and for veterans in obtaining a license with experience earned during their service to our country. Through the Military Personnel, Veterans & Military Licensing Fee Waiver Program, DBPR has waived occupational license fees for over 2,400 service members and spouses which saved them nearly $175,000 in the last fiscal year.
“Florida has a veteran-friendly environment and supports the prosperity and opportunities for veterans and their families through DBPR’s license fee waivers,” said DBPR Sec. Halsey Beshears. “Our team is committed to providing the best quality service to those who have served our country and their families.”
Florida Department of Transportation
The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Small Business Program invests in veteran-owned businesses in the state of Florida. Through this program, the department is able to boost competition and foster an environment for the continued development and economic growth of these essential businesses throughout the state.
“The department is proud to support Florida’s veteran-owned businesses under the leadership of Governor DeSantis,” said Florida Department of Transportation Sec. Kevin Thibault. “In state fiscal year 2019-20 alone, FDOT spent $206 million with veteran-owned businesses. We are forever thankful for the service of our veterans and remain dedicated to continuing our investment in veteran-owned businesses throughout the state.”
“Enterprise Florida recently entered into a Strategic Alliance with the SBA to be sure we are seamless in our support for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Florida,” said Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, Enterprise Florida’s president and CEO, as well as a Marine Corps veteran. “My fellow veterans should know Florida is the place for them to live out their American Dream by owning a business and achieving the impossible.”
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI), the state’s principal economic development organization, houses the Minority, Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Capital division, to engage small businesses and start-ups with capital formation options and business consultations. Veterans with interest in these programs should visit www.EnterpriseFlorida.com/Small-Business/. Additionally, EFI publishes the Florida Military Friendly Guide and the Florida Defense Factbook annually to showcase the value of the U.S. defense community and veterans to the state.
Last week, the state of Florida recognized SBA National Veterans Small Business Week from November 2-6. SBA hosted various events to celebrate, connect, and empower service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses in small business entrepreneurship. Throughout the week, SBA hosted various events to highlight veteran entrepreneurship and provide valuable resources.