Help for veterans who want to own their own businesses include:
>> The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce held a Midwest Franchise Seminar on Friday, offering resources for people interested in becoming franchisees as well as training and networking opportunities for current franchisees looking to expand. Among the questions that seminar attendees and the International Franchise Association recommend for people thinking of jumping in:
— Will you like the franchise?
— Are you willing to follow the franchise system?
— Can you afford it?
— Have you studied the legal side of franchising?
— Does the franchise have a history of success?
— Do you have people who support you?
— Have you dealt and interacted well with people in the past?
>> A report Thursday from the International Franchise Association and Franchise Business Review said that more than 64,000 veterans and military spouses have become franchisees since the launch of Operation Enduring Opportunity, an initiative of the International Franchise Association. Among the other findings:
— Veteran franchise owners were 30 percent more likely to have hired a veteran than franchise businesses not owned by veterans.
— The most popular franchise industries among veterans include automotive at 16 percent, general services at 16 percent and food at 15 percent.
— Four out of five veterans enjoy operating their franchise business, and 81 percent would recommend their franchise brand to others.
— Ninety-five percent of franchisees surveyed believe that veterans are a good fit for employment within their franchise business.
>> The Small Business Administration aids veterans also:
— This year, 27 SBA loans totalling $10.3 million were guaranteed to veteran-owned small businesses in Nebraska.
— Fourteen of those loans were through the Patriot Express program, which provides loans to veterans looking to start or expand small businesses. The program helps veterans, service-disabled veterans, active-duty service members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program, reservists, National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above and widowed spouses of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability.
— The loans for veteran-owned small businesses accounted for 7 percent of all SBA loans in Nebraska this year.