TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In advance of Veterans Day, Governor Ron DeSantis, and State Agencies recognized the many veteran-owned, small businesses who contribute to Florida’s economy. The state 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 Governor DeSantis. “I encourage all Veteran Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs to take advantage of the state resources available to support their growth”
Florida has resources for veteran-owned small businesses are available across multiple agencies:
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, 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.”
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 January 2021, veteran-owned businesses will gain access to discounted surplus federal equipment through DMS’ Federal Property Assistance program.
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.
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.
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. In state fiscal year 2019-20 alone, FDOT spent $206 million with veteran-owned businesses.
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) recently entered into a Strategic Alliance with the SBA to ensure seamless support for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Florida. 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, Florida recognized SBA National Veterans Small Business Week from Nov, 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. Visit the SBA website to learn more about National Veterans Small Business Week events.