SBA to host first-ever Veteran Business Expo in Willimantic next week
Windham ― The Connecticut District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is holding its inaugural and free Veteran Business Expo Nov. 2 at the Eastern CT Veterans Community Center, at 47 Crescent St. in Willimantic.
Veterans and their family members will have access to workshops and resources from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Registration is encouraged but not required, with registration available at bit.ly/CTVeteransExpo.
“The overall goal, as we recognize National Veterans Small Business Week, is to serve the community that served us,” said Catherine Marx, director of the Connecticut District Office.
The keynote speaker, before the workshops begin at 9:30 a.m., is Thomas J. Saadi, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.
The workshops are on getting certified as a veteran owned small business (9:30 a.m.), business plan basics (10:15 a.m.), financing (11 a.m.), franchising (11:45 a.m.), Veteran Readiness and Employment services (12:30 p.m.), and Veteran Business Outreach Center resources (1 p.m.).
Exhibitors include the Connecticut Secretary of the State, Connecticut Procurement and Technical Assistance Center, Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Eastern CT SCORE, Southeastern Connecticut Enterprise Region, multiple banks, and more.
SBA New England Regional Administrator Mike Vlacich said the idea was to have “all the resources under one roof to make it much more manageable.” He added that it’s not only for people looking to start a business but also for existing business owners looking to grow or change.
Vlacich said there are 16,000 veteran-owned businesses in Connecticut, 81,000 in New England and nearly 2 million across the country.