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Gov. Whitmer Recognizes November 1-5 as Veterans Small Business Week

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has recognized November 1-5 as Veterans Small Business Week in Michigan to celebrate the positive contributions made by veteran-owned small businesses to our local communities and economies across Michigan.

“During Veterans Small Business Week, we highlight local veteran-owned small businesses and acknowledge the huge impact veteran business owners have on our economy here in Michigan,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. They create jobs, spur innovation and boost local demand for professional services. Veterans who served our nation in uniform and continue to create prosperity in their communities as small business owners deserve our recognition. I will work with anyone to ensure they have the resources they need to thrive.” 

Gov. Whitmer has worked to ensure Michigan’s veterans and their families have the opportunities and support they need to succeed. She has signed legislation to reduce barriers to professional licensure creating an expedited path for veterans and their families to practice their licensed profession in Michigan, easing the pathway to reciprocal licenses through expedited processing and waiving initial license and application fees. Veterans who are interested in registering a business in Michigan may also qualify for a waiver of fees for profit corporations, limited liability companies and nonprofit corporations. Learn more here: Veterans Fee Waiver

“LARA is proud to show appreciation for members of the armed forces and their families by offering initial license/registration and application fee waivers,” said Orlene Hawks, director of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. “Our department offers several licensing supports for those currently serving and for those service members transitioning from active duty. LARA also counts military training and experiences toward fulfilling the requirements for certain licenses.”

“When Jill and I decided to start an online coffee business with a mission to employ and serve veterans around the country, it was a no-brainer to open that business in Michigan,” said Scott Thomas, a veteran of the Michigan Army National Guard (MIARNG) and the U.S. Army and co-owner of Freedom Hill Coffee Roasters in Bellaire. “We strive to employ as many veterans as we can, either to stay with us and help us grow or to help them get on their feet to pursue a career path that better fits their goals and needs. Being able to sell our coffee products across the country while enjoying Michigan's low cost of doing business, great quality-of-life and support for veterans and fellow Michiganders has been wonderful.”

“Veterans possess some of the most important qualities of successful entrepreneurs including a strong work ethic, courage, leadership skills and teamwork,” said Zaneta Adams, director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). “The Whitmer administration’s efforts to elevate veteran workers and small business owners are part of what makes Michigan a great place to live, work and retire for our veteran families.”

For more information on professional and entrepreneurial development for veteran-owned businesses, small business training and counseling, networking opportunities and mentoring programs, visit Veterans Entrepreneurship, the U.S. Office of Veterans Business Development or Michigan SBDC.

Michigan is committed to making the state the premier choice for military service members, veterans and their families to live, work, serve and play. In support of this effort, the MVAA helps connect veterans with federal, state and local benefits and resources they earned for their service. To learn more about employment, healthcare, education and quality-of-life benefits, veterans can contact the Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center at 1-800-MICH-VET or visit

View the proclamation here: November 1-5, 2022: Veterans Small Business Week.

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