Veterans Thriving as Small Business Owners, Study Finds

With Veterans Day just past, it’s good to know that the veteran small business community is doing relatively well in the U.S.

In fact, optimism among veteran small business owners is outpacing the nation’s small businesses as a whole, according to this year’s Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer.

The annual index study released new data ahead of Veterans Day showing that veteran entrepreneurs’ optimism is at a resounding 99 out of 100 — which the Barometer found is a reflection of veterans’ overall success in areas such as business performance, hiring and growth.

Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of veterans say there’s never been a better time to own a small business.

And while the numbers are high among all small business owners — 64 percent say the best time to own a business is now and 92 percent report high optimism — veterans’ positive views of the small business climate are consistent across the board.

The Small Business Barometer, in its second year, combines a national survey of nearly 2,800 small-business owners with federal economic data to provide a comprehensive profile of the sector across the United States and in 25 of its largest cities.

For the first time this year, the Barometer oversampled veteran business owners to get a pulse of this influential group.

Other findings from the Small Business Barometer include:

  • 70 percent of veteran small business owners say their business is doing well (64 percent for small-business owners overall).
  • 64 percent of veterans’ small businesses have experienced recent growth (55 percent overall).
  • 57 percent of veteran small business owners have experienced more growth this year than last year (49 percent overall).
  • 51 percent of veteran small business owners plan to hire this year (42 percent overall).

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development says there is approximately one veteran-owned firm for every 10 veterans; veterans are 45 percent more likely than nonveterans to be self-employed; and more than one-third of veteran business owners say that while on active duty, they learned skills that directly transfer to the business world.

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