Washington, DC - In the United States, veterans own nearly 2.5 million small businesses.  After fighting for our country, these ambitious men and women have returned to civilian life to pursue the American Dream they have dutifully defended.  Throughout National Veterans Small Business Week, we celebrate the success of these hardworking service members and acknowledge their contributions to our Nation’s robust and roaring economy.

Veteran-owned small businesses employ more than 5 million people and generate over $1 trillion in sales and receipts annually.  Entrepreneurial patriots boost our economy and strengthen their communities.  My Administration is tirelessly working to remove barriers that impede veterans from pursuing their professional goals after they return from their service to our country.  In August, I signed a Presidential Memorandum that ensures veterans who are totally and permanently disabled receive the Federal student loan forgiveness to which they are entitled.  These brave men and women have made remarkable sacrifices to protect our freedoms, and we must ensure they have every opportunity to live productive, fulfilling lives.

Since my election, the veteran’s unemployment rate has reached its lowest rate ever recorded.  My Administration will continue working to create an economic environment that fosters growth and prosperity for veterans and all Americans.  No group better understands the values of hard work, determination, and courage than our Nation’s veterans.  Initiatives offered through the Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development, such as Boots to Business, help our military personnel apply the skills and values they learned in the Armed Forces to their entrepreneurial endeavors.  This innovative program provides participants with access to resources and training that can help them successfully launch businesses, including information on how to secure capital and gain access to networks of professional business advisors.

This National Veterans Small Business Week, we recognize our country’s veterans for their significant contributions to America’s unparalleled prosperity and success.  These patriots help strengthen our economy, improve our communities, and enrich the character of our Nation.  As Americans, we are grateful for and inspired by their service and sacrifice.