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Everyone wants to hire veterans but are they doing it?

Most small business want to hire veterans, but few are actively trying to do it.

Those are the findings of a large small business survey out this week.  This quarter, the MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index surveyed small businesses about their experience in hiring and retaining veterans, as well as the challenges they face compared to non-veteran-owned small businesses.

Here are some of the findings, which reveal important trends about small businesses’ attitude toward hiring veterans:

  • 82% of veteran-owned and 81% of non-veteran-owned small businesses say that it is important for businesses to focus more on hiring veterans.
  • 56% of small businesses have participated in some activity relating to veterans. The most popular is donating to or sponsoring veteran causes.
  • One in 10 small businesses has intentionally recruited military veterans in the past year.

Why is such a small percentage of them intentionally recruiting veterans? The survey shed light on that as well. Nearly half – 49% – of small businesses with 20 or more employees said it is difficult to find helpful information about hiring or retaining veterans. More  than a third – 37% – of businesses with fewer than five employees said the same.

And there’s more.

  • About half (46%) of small businesses report they have hired a military veteran, but only 10% say they have intentionally recruited veterans.
  • Beyond donating to veteran causes and celebrating Veteran’s Day, few small businesses report participating in other veteran-related activities or catering to the needs of veteran employees.


The survey also asked veteran-owned businesses about their challenges, which are similar to challenges to those facing other small businesses, with securing access to capital (32%) and hiring the right talent (18&) at the top of the list.

Veteran and non-veteran-owned small businesses are equal in terms of plans for staffing growth (both 29%). But veteran-owned small businesses have higher expectations toward increasing investments when compared to their counterparts.

Among both veteran-owned and non-veteran owned small businesses surveyed, Southern small businesses are feeling particularly bullish about the local economy. 63% believe their area is in good health, up from 51% last quarter, and the highest of any region. 62% agree the U.S. economy is in good health, up from 57% last quarter. 67% rate their own business’ health as good, an increase of five percentage points from last quarter, but even with Q1 (68%).

You can download the full Q3 report here.


These websites will help you find qualified veterans, post job openings and find resources that will help you employ those who served.

Employ Florida Vets: Learn how you can hire and support local veterans through Employ Florida Vets.

CareerSource South Florida: South Florida’s state job agency has a number of services for veterans looking for jobs and employers seeking veterans.

American Heroes at Work: Browse training materials, guides, and resources for businesses that employ disabled veterans.

Hiring our Heroes: Information on how your organization can better recruit and hire veterans and military spouses

These websites are geared to veteran-owned businesses and business development:

Get certified as a Florida Veteran-Owned Business: The Florida Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD) certifies veteran-owned businesses for free. Certification offers benefits such as referrals to state agencies and other organizations seeking certified businesses; a listing in OSD’s Certified Business Enterprise Vendor Directory; and exclusive emails containing contract and networking opportunities, special events and training announcements. Find out more here.

Veterans Florida: Seeking additional help starting your business? Veterans Florida can help through the Veterans Florida Entrepreneurship Program. The Florida SBDC Network is a partner.!

Patriot Boot Camp: A resource site for  active-duty service members, veterans, or military spouses seeking mentors, educational opportunities and a community of experts and peers to help build their businesses.

SBA resources for veteran-owned small businesses:  Resources include funding programs, training, and federal contracting opportunities.

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