Veterans Day: 9 Business Resources for Pennsylvania’s Veterans

Vietnam Memorial, Reading

Every Veterans Day, we celebrate the brave military personnel who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Pennsylvania recognizes the valuable contributions from our strong veteran workforce and the overall veteran community — veteran-owned businesses contributed more than $50 billion to the state economy in 2012, and Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the country for the total number of veteran-owned businesses.

In honor of Veterans Day and the community it celebrates, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop has rounded up a list of the resources and benefits available to veterans living in Pennsylvania.

  1. PA Department of State’s Veteran’s Business Fee Exemption

    Veterans and reservists starting a small business in the commonwealth are exempt from the payment of certain fees. Visit the Department of State website to learn more about eligibility and how to take advantage of this offer.

  2. PA Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) Services

    An OVR counselor can assist veterans in planning their job search. They will receive ideas, practice, and advice on finding job leads, filling out job applications, getting interviews for a job, and how to interview for a job or develop a self-employment plan to start a business. The counselor may also give job leads or contact employers to explain available tax credits and other hiring incentives. Lastly, the counselor can help veterans explore employment trends, capabilities, and possible job accommodations so that veterans are better prepared to make informed vocational decisions and effectively look for a job.

  3. Federal Veterans Administration (VA) Vocational Education and Training PA Offices

    VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment services are designed to help disabled veterans with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job-seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment. In addition, VA’s Education and Career Counseling program is a great opportunity for veterans and service members to get personalized counseling and support to help guide their career paths, ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and achieve their employment goals. More information about the VA’s Education and Career Counseling program is available through Pennsylvania representatives in Philadelphia (Mindy Lubeck, EC/VRC | 215.842.2000 x4115) and Pittsburgh (Frank Ticich, EC | 412.395.6072).

  4. Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

    The only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high-quality one-on-one consulting, training, and information resources to empower new and existing businesses, offers resources for veterans, including financing. The SBDC partners with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), DCED, and 18 universities and colleges across the state to provide budding entrepreneurs and small business owners the resources they need to thrive in this economy. Additionally, the SBA has a page dedicated to Veteran-Owned Businesses for veterans interested in entering the world of business ownership. It shows resources for funding programs, training, and federal contracting opportunities.

  5. PA Department of General Services’ Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO)

    BDISBO is responsible for assisting small diverse businesses interested in competing for Pennsylvania’s contracting opportunities. To learn more or become a verified, self-certified small diverse business, please visit the BDISBO webpage or call the Bureau at 717.783.3119.

  6. Small Diverse Business Capital Access Program (SDBCA)

    SDBCA is administered by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) and provides low-interest loans to assist small-diverse businesses that commit to and retain full-time jobs with Pennsylvania.

  7. Entrepreneur’s Guide

    The Entrepreneur’s Guide is a free publication that guides a small business owner through the process of starting and growing a business in Pennsylvania. The publication includes expert information regarding building a business plan, registration, funding advice, and more.

  8. Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP)

    The PREP network offers local business assistance to help companies start, grow, and prosper in Pennsylvania.

  9. Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop

    Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is the first stop for many individuals seeking information about how to turn their entrepreneurial ideas into a new business. The experts at Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop provide customized assistance to aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small businesses and offer access to a vast toolbox of services and resources.

Small businesses have an incredible impact in the communities they serve — from retail stores and local manufacturers to healthcare providers and professional service providers. The Commonwealth of PA is committed to helping them thrive by providing resources and technical assistance.


To learn more about the funding programs and resources available to small businesses, visit our PA small business website, follow our social channels (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn), and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter for additional #PASmallBiz tips.

To learn more about veterans benefits and services, visit the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs website, follow DMVA’s social channels (Twitter and Facebook), and sign up for Pennsylvania’s Veterans Registry.

Michael C McManus

Michael is the Director of the Business One-Stop Shop in DCED. His passion to serve others is reflected in Business One-Stop Shop’s mission which is to provide “customer-focused” service to new and growing businesses in PA. Prior to DCED, Michael served the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue in addition to his years of experience working in various customer service fields.