Support for Veteran-Owned Businesses and Entrepreneurs
The NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) connects veteran business owners and entrepreneurs to the resources and services they need to grow and succeed, including funding opportunities, training programs, and networking events.
Connect to entrepreneur services by filling out the VetConnectNYC form and selecting "Entrepreneurship" as your preferred service:
Request Services on VetConnectNYC
See below for a list of resources to support veterans entrepreneurs and business owners:
Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.
Starting a Small Business
- The following resources provide tools, curriculum, business planning materials, and virtual events to support anyone looking to start their own business:
- The NY Small Business Development Centers Veterans Business Program provides targeted training, counseling, and mentoring to help veterans start and grow a small business. SBDC Business Advisors help veteran small business owners improve profitability, expand market share, explore export opportunities, and provide valuable assistance in terms of establishing businesses on stronger organizational and financial footing. Eligibility varies by program.
- The VA Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization offers assistance to veteran entrepreneurs looking to start a business, become qualified, and more.
Entrepreneur Training Programs
Business Mentorship and Networking
- The M/WBE Leadership Association help women and minority-owned businesses become M/WBE certified, develop proposals, secure funds for projects, and connect to potential customers.
- Vets in Tech (VIT) supports current and returning veterans with re-integration services and connects them to the national technology ecosystem. VIT introduces veterans to a tech-specific network, resources, and programs for those interested in education, entrepreneurship, and employment.
- Bunker Labs NYC provides networking and resources to veterans looking to start their own businesses.
- The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) connects veteran entrepreneurs to private corporations and government agencies and provides opportunities for networking, collaboration, mentoring, and business coaching.
- DVS and the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) are encouraging veteran business owners to certify their businesses by applying to the Emerging Business Enterprise (EBE) Program and/or the Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Program. Certified veteran-owned businesses will have greater access to contracting opportunities with New York City agencies through classes, networking events, and targeted solicitations. More than 9,000 businesses currently benefit from New York City Certification and 75% of businesses who have been certified have won contracts with City agencies.
- Being certified will also help veteran entrepreneurs connect to programs designed to help them grow their business including:
Types of Business Certification:
To request more information, email us at email@example.com.
- The VA's VetBiz site provides information on the verification process for veteran-owned businesses looking to gain eligibility for the VA's Veterans First Contracting Program.
- Reboot Workshop offers one-on-one support and a veteran business owner certification program.
Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses program (SDVOSBC) offers resources for service-disabled veteran-owned businesses looking to procure federal contracts.
Become certified as a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business and get access to New York State contracting opportunities. Certification Eligibility:
- The business must be independently owned and operated and have a significant business presence in New York State.
- One or more service-disabled veterans, with a service-connected disability rating of 10% or more from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (or from the New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs for National Guard veterans), must own at least 51% of the business.
- Service-disabled veteran ownership must be real, substantial, and continuing.
- The eligible service-disabled veteran owner(s) must have (and exercise) authority to independently control the day-to-day business decisions.
- The business must qualify as a small business under the New York State program.
- The business must be located in New York State or have a significant business presence in New York State.
Grants and Loans for Small Business
- View SBA loan programs for veteran-owned businesses
- SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans are a variety of loan programs designed to assist veterans in acquiring capital to start, grow or succeed in business. To qualify, a veteran small business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by an individual in the following group:
- Honorably discharged veterans
- Active Duty Military service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
- Active Reservists and/or active National Guard Members or
- Current spouse of any veteran, Active Duty service member, Reservist, National Guard member, or the widowed spouse of a service member who died while in service or as a result of a service-connected disability.
- Additional eligibility requirements in New York Codes, Rules and Regulations Part 252 Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise Program.
- Administered by the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, the NYS Restaurant Resiliency Program provides New York's regional food banks with funding to purchase prepared meals from participating New York restaurants and deliver them to families in need. If you are interested in becoming a participating restaurant, read the program terms and conditions and apply.
- The NYS Pandemic Recovery Grant Program provides grant assistance to currently viable small businesses, micro-businesses, and for-profit independent arts/cultural organizations who have experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19. Small businesses and for-profits incorporated in OR registered/licensed to do business in NYS are now eligible to apply. View the program and application guide. If your business was previously denied, call 877-721-0097 to update your case file.
Federal Relief for Small Businesses
The U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Grant provides low-interest loans of up to 30 years to all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations that have lost revenue during the economic crisis. The application deadline is 11:59 PM ET on December 31, 2021. Visit the SBS website for free assistance applying for emergency funding programs.
Join COVID-19 Relief Efforts
- Manufacture Supplies: If you're a veteran business owner or veteran entrepreneur and you believe your company can donate medical supplies, please fill out NYC's Supply Registration Form. If your company can source or manufacture medical supplies such as face shields, gowns, ventilators, and masks please visit the New York City Economic Development Corporation's website.
- Share Your Space: American Legions, VFWs, and other VSOs are encouraged to share their space to support NYC's emergency operations and community outreach events. Visit the Office of Emergency Management to learn how you can share your space.
VetBizNYC: Interactive Veteran-Owned Business Map
DVS has launched VetBizNYC, an interactive map that identifies Veteran-owned businesses across NYC.
More than 150 businesses have been added to our interactive map so far, with pins showing their location in the five boroughs. The businesses represent a cross-section of industries such as construction, restaurants, photographers, gardening, and office supplies. It also includes key business contact information as well as a list of a business's city and state certifications. VOBs can fill out our online form to be included in our interactive map