National Veterans Small Business Week aims to highlight and help

SBA helps veterans with resources
Posted at 8:06 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 14:30:36-05

November 4th through the 8th is National Veterans Small Business week and several Great Falls businesses are celebrating.

"The week is dedicated to celebrating the nation’s 2.5 million veteran-owned businesses who contribute nearly $1 trillion each year to the U.S economy,” said Small Business Administration acting administrator Chris Pilkerton.

During this week, the SBA is highlighting and connecting veterans nationwide to the resources available to help them accomplish small business success.

In Great Falls, Electric City Coffee and Bistro is a veteran-owned business that received Montana's 2018 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year award.

Heidi Reiste, one of the owners, served as an airman at Malmstrom Air Force Base, and says giving back to the military community and encouraging others to go into the military is a priority.

“All of the young men and women who are thinking about coming and going into the military and signing up - you will not regret it," she said.

Heidi and her husband, when asked by the SBA how their military background helped them in the business world, replied: "After nearly five years in the business world, we’d say the most important thing we gained from our military experience is team building. We have managed to hire very passionate and creative people to work for us. They support and contribute to our ideas and plans. Great leaders surround themselves with great people – we remember that daily."

They offer a 15% discount to military members.

If you are a veteran of the military and are interested in starting a small business, you can find more information at these sites:

Small Business Development Center Network

Small Business Administration's Veteran Owned Businesses

Veteran Business Outreach Center