Each November, we slow down on Veterans Day to recognize the sacrifice of our military veterans and their service to our country. And one way that we can support the veteran community is by shopping at and working with veteran-owned businesses, like PG!
As of 2018, there are nearly two million veteran-owned businesses in the United States, employing almost six million Americans, according to statistics from the U.S. Small Business Association Office of Advocacy.
"Every veteran has a story," said Jessica Bitell, Strategic Account Manager and U.S. Navy Reserves, in a conversation about PG's Veteran Employee Resource Group (ERG). "I think that's the one thing I want everybody to know."
Bitell is a co-lead of the ERG, which recently underwent a name change and is now called V.A.L.O.R. or Veterans and Allies Linking Our Resources. "PG really stands out and they put their money where their mouth is when they talk about supporting their veterans." And as a veteran-owned business, that's super important to us! But the impact of that extends beyond our internal PG community.
So what role do veteran-owned businesses have in each of our communities across the country? Here are 3 ways we are making a difference!
1. Veteran-owned businesses can provide an inclusive and accepting environment for veteran employees.
Increasing our support of these spaces can offer a better transition for active-duty service members once they retire to civilian life. One study from the National Institute of Health found that among a sample of participating Veterans, “employed veterans with mental illnesses had lower levels of depression and stress and higher levels of positive emotion, life satisfaction, meaning in life, and social relationships compared to unemployed veterans.” Mental health has also been a priority for the military as of late, said Bitell, who shared the Brandon Act, a recent piece of legislation geared toward getting service members and veterans access to the mental health care they need.
2. Veteran-owned businesses generate community revenue.
In 2021, Veteran-owned businesses made up around 5.9% (337,934) of all businesses, with an estimated $947.7 billion in receipts, approximately 3.9 million employees, and about $177.7 billion in annual payroll, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And indicators point to the number of Veteran-owned businesses increasing with programs like the Women Veteran-Owned Small Business Initiative (WVOSBI), and the accessibility of Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs). There are also organizations like our friends at Bunker Labs, which aims to provide community, programming, and education to military Veterans and spouses to help them grow successful businesses.
3. Veterans have skill sets that allow them to be flexible in the marketplace.
A 2021 survey from Gusto shows that 47% of veteran entrepreneurs started a business in Goods-Producing/Logistic sectors, while only 11% of non-veterans started a business in those sectors. “I often encourage leaders to consider the one thing that veterans do better than anyone that every organization needs; build trust," said PG President and Army veteran, Bobby Herrera. Additionally, many veterans reported their business is doing better than predicted (46% for veterans, compared to 41% among non-veterans).
By stimulating the economy, creating diverse and flexible businesses, and creating space for veteran employees to thrive, it’s clear that veteran-owned businesses have a positive and lasting impact on their communities. Together, we're working to continue fostering environments where every veteran's story is not only acknowledged but celebrated, leaving a lasting mark on our shared success. 🇺🇸✨