With the employers adding more than 1 million jobs to the economy over the last year and gross domestic product topping 3 percent in back-to-back quarters, it’s safe to say conditions have dramatically improved. How long this will last is up for debate, but veterans – in particular – are leading the economy’s charge, a newly released survey suggests.
With Veterans’ Day right around the corner, USA Today partnered with Allstate to examine how current and former members of the military are performing as small-business owners. Out of a scale of 100 – the higher the number, the more confident they are in success – veterans scored a 99 on the Allstate/USA Today Small Business Barometer. Additionally, 7 in 10 veteran small-business owners said their companies were doing well financially, well ahead of the 64 percent of small-business owners who indicated as much overall.
Steven James, a 10-year military veteran who operates an Allstate agency, said the armed services helps members develop characteristics that entrepreneurs need.
“Being in the military challenges you to become your best self,” James explained. “Some of the skills it teaches – respect, organization, discipline and loyalty – are exactly the kind of traits it takes to successfully run your own small business.”
Veterans are 45% more likely to own a business than non-veterans.”
13 percent of finance firms launched by veterans
Based on the most recent figures, veterans seem to enjoy the freedom and independence that owning a business offers. In so doing, military members are major contributors to the U.S. economy, responsible for employing an estimated 5.8 million individuals, according to the Small Business Administration. Approximately 10 percent of business currently in operation were launched by veterans, who are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than their civilian contemporaries. Veteran presence is heaviest in the finance and insurance sectors accounting for 13.2 percent of firms, the largest of the top 10 helmed by individuals with military backgrounds.
2017 has been a very good year for the economy, evidenced by a booming stock market and a jobless rate that’s fallen from 4.8 percent in January to just 4.2 percent in September, according to the Labor Department. Although the year is nearly over, veterans aren’t finished with their hiring blitz, as a majority intend to continue recruiting, the survey revealed. This compared to 42 percent of small-business owners overall.
Consumers more confident in small businesses’ ongoing success
Americans are largely sanguine that small-business owners will continue to thrive in the coming months. Indeed, in a separate survey performed by Gallup, 70 percent of respondents said they were optimistic about their ability to succeed, more than three times that of big business. Just 21 percent of the poll’s participants said they had a “great deal” of confidence for them.
Small-business owners want one thing above all: growth. At Growth Capital, we’ve put more than $450 million toward this effort for entrepreneurs in the Buckeye State alone since 1982. If you’re a veteran in need of financing, give us a call at 216-592-2332. We can help you achieve your small-business ownership aspirations.