Are you a military community member looking to start a small business, but not sure where to begin? The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) provides veterans, military spouses, and active-duty service members with essential resources to help them succeed. In fact, these resources have been vital to the success of many small businesses around the country. SBA takes pride in helping these business owners and applauds them for their success. Business owners can use these resources to start or grow a business.

1. Crystal Clear Maintenance

When Army veteran Douglas Craft first heard about SBA resources, his janitorial business, Crystal Clear Maintenance, was earning about $80,000 a year. Douglas visited with SBA’s New Mexico District Office to learn about opportunities to strengthen his business. His district office provided Douglas with guidance and mentorship that opened doors he did not know about in government contracting. The first step was to get Douglas’s business certified through what is now the VetCert program.

VetCert certifies veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and allows them to compete for exclusive, set-aside contracts. This helps small businesses grow by diversifying their revenue streams.

Additionally, Douglas’s district office informed him about SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program, which awards at least 5% of all federal contracting dollars to disadvantaged businesses each year. Through this program, Douglas also received one-on-one counseling with a business expert who advised Douglas on the right steps to take to improve his business and helped him learn about other SBA programs, including SBA lending programs.

Due in part to the advice and resources he received, Douglas was able to expand Crystal Clear Maintenance into eight states, where the business earns over $25 million in revenue per year!

2. Bold Marnier Brewing Company

Navy Veteran Michael Stacks and military spouse Kerrie Stacks came from a family of home brewers with a passion for making beer. In the mid-2010s, when Michael began his transition out of the military, he and Kerrie heard about SBA resources and decided to look into how these resources could help the couple open what became the Bold Mariner Brewing Company.

The first step Michael and Kerrie took was to visit their local VBOC, where they received mentorship and resources to help them investigate business ownership. The VBOC recommended that Michael enroll in a Boots to Business course. Boots to Business is a no-cost, two-day program that helps aspiring military community business owners learn key fundamentals and skills to successfully operate a business. From there, the VBOC provided mentorship to Michael and Kerrie by assessing their business plan and providing loan information to help them convert a warehouse into the first Bold Mariner location.

After 10 successful years in business, Michael and Kerrie continue to utilize their VBOC to discuss expansion strategies, as they have looked to move into a new production facility to meet the ever-increasing national and worldwide demand for their product!

3. DocTerra Mobile Veterinary Services

SBA resources can also help military spouses start the small business of their dreams. Terra Smith wanted to open a mobile veterinary service to help pets in rural North Carolina. When thinking about starting her business, DocTerra Mobile Veterinary Services, Terra talked with her husband, a Marine veteran who knew about SBA resources and loans available to military spouses.

Terra reached out to her local VBOC at Fayetteville University, where she received help developing a business plan and assistance in accessing capital and SBA-backed loans.

Because of the assistance she received, Terra was able to purchase and convert an old van into a mobile veterinary hospital, complete with the tools and resources she needs to provide services to pets in need.

Resources like Boots to Business, VBOCs, and VetCert are just a few of the many SBA offers to veterans, military spouses, and active-duty military community members. SBA also offers other programs, including the Military Spouse Pathway to Business course, Entrepreneurial Training Programs, and a network of local resource partners. Check out SBA’s Office of Veteran Business Development to find even more offerings your business can use to achieve success.

For more veteran owned small business resources and helpful tips, follow the SBA’s Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) on LinkedIn, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook.

This blog was originally written by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development. To learn more about OVBD visit,

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