Veterans Business Outreach Center
The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) is an SBA-funded resource available to service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members and military spouses with interest in starting or expanding upon a small business. With over 20 locations across the United States, VBOC advisors provide entrepreneurial development assistance, mentoring and training in areas such as international trade, franchising, internet marketing, and accounting.
In addition to personalized training and development, the Georgia VBOC attends, conducts and provides support for Boots to Business courses located at South Carolina and Georgia’s military installations. The Boots to Business program is a two-day program available to transitioning service members in any branch of the military and their spouses. During this program, service members learn the steps for evaluating business concepts, the foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan, and information on the resources available to help access start-up capital and technical assistance.
In September, with Hurricane Irma bearing down on the southeast, Jeremy Horstman and Jeff Smith managed to attend the 2017 National VBOC conference in Alexandria, Virginia. The conference took place over the course of four days, where VBOC representatives from around the country met to discuss best practices and share information with their colleagues.
Jeremy and Jeff also were able to network with national staff of the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) at the Small Business Administration (SBA). They also met with National VBOC Director Raymond Milano, and SBA Deputy District Administrator Barb Carson, head of the OVBD. In addition to the SBA, they were able to network with many resource providers and partners, such as members of the Association of Women’s Business Centers, who hosted the conference. The knowledge gained from breakout sessions and networking will prove invaluable over the next year.
Jeremy and John also attended the Warrior Partnership’s summit in Atlanta. Finally, Jeff assisted the South Carolina District Office with a Boots to Business class at Charleston Naval Weapons Station by leading the first day’s instruction. Jeff and Jeremy have led numerous modules over the last two months.
Cain’s Dairy Barn Success Story
For our October VBOC business for the month, we highlight Amanda Cain with Cain’s Dairy Barn in Brooklet, Georgia. The Cains came to Georgia shortly after her husband, Army Sergeant First Class Michael Cain, received permanent change of duty station orders to Fort Stewart. Originally, the Cains were drawn to the town of Brooklet for the high-quality schools and the friendly small-town atmosphere. However, as time passed, Amanda began to take notice of the lack of family-friendly activities in the local area. As a mother of six, she began to envision an ice cream and coffee shop that would become a local family-friendly stop within the community.
On August 5, 2017, the Cains officially opened the doors to their new ice cream and coffee shop. With the help and support of their six children, they have come together as a family to make an imprint upon their community in the historic district of downtown Brooklet. Visit Cain’s Dairy Barn to meet their shop mascot, Dinky the Cow, and grab a cone of ice cream or a cup of Joe.
For more information on VBOC services, events, or information on Cain’s Dairy Barn’s hours of operation, please contact our office at 912-478-7781. Upcoming outreach events in November include participation in several Boots to Business courses and Hiring Our Heroes events in Georgia and South Carolina.
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