Veteran Business Connection is a free online directory designed to help people find veteran-owned businesses.
Have you wondered how you can support veteran-owned businesses in your community? The first place to start is gaining awareness of those businesses. And that just got a little easier with the recent launch of Veteran Business Connection, a free online directory platform designed by veteran business owners to connect other veteran-owned businesses and civilians.
The brainchild of veterans and friends Jason Gaver of Winnabow, North Carolina, and Chad Gleaton of Anchorage, Alaska, the Veteran Business Connection brings together military supporters, veterans, and veteran business owners. Whether someone is looking for “a plumber, a cake decorator, a mechanic, or financial advisor,” according to their press release, they can find it here.
After returning home from military service, many veterans contribute to the economy by starting their own businesses. The Veteran Business Connection platform provides not only a way for them to connect with supporters in their communities but also a way to network with each other.
That connection is important, as Gaver explains. “I spent my whole adult life in the military or supporting it as a civilian,” he says. “When I left the service, my wife wanted to move home to Winnabow. I lost that connection to my community and to other veterans.”
Gaver says it is not uncommon for veterans to leave the armed forces experiencing a sense of loss of both bonds and trust. “We want to give those men and women who decided to leave the armed services a platform to connect with the rest of the world,” he says.
The online directory is national in scope and easy to use. You can search by state, industry, or specific service to locate a veteran-owned business in your area. Businesses can get listed on the directory by setting up an account under the Login section of the menu.
Veteran-owned businesses bring something special to their approach, starting with discipline and accountability, Gaver says. “That’s part of a veteran’s skill set. We show up when we say we will, we return a call when we say we will. We know what it’s like to wake up, work hard, and be accountable. We’ve got a little higher level of respect for people’s time.”
It took Gaver and Gleaton 18 months to put the directory together from idea to launch, and it will be a continuously evolving project. With only a few weeks in, the pair have used word of mouth and pounding the streets to bring awareness to other veteran business owners.
“This isn’t a new concept,” Gaver says. “People have tried to do this over the years, but it never got the right traction. We believe we will be a differentiator because we aren’t coming at it like a paid service. Chad and I are gainfully employed members of our communities. We’re not out to make a dollar. It truly is a passion project.”
The pair just filed paperwork to incorporate Veteran Business Connection as a nonprofit organization.