SUNY Veteran's Assistance Program Wins National Award
Albany—State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King announced today that the SUNY Small Business Development Center’s Veterans Business Outreach Program (VBOP) has won a national award for its program to help New York veterans start or improve a business.

“In this extraordinary time, we look to our military to ensure our safety and preserve our values,” said Chancellor King. “It is entirely appropriate for SUNY to find ways to help veterans who want to realize the American Dream of owning a small business. SUNY is proud to be doing something special for American men and women who have contributed so much to our way of life.”

The SUNY SBDC’s Veterans Business Outreach Program has won a prestigious National Association of Management and Technical Assistance Centers (NAMTAC) 2003 Outstanding Project of the Year Award. NAMTAC is one of the oldest and most prestigious business technical assistance advocacy organizations in the United States. Only 15 of these national awards are given out each year. The SBDC will accept its award during the annual NAMTAC Convention, held this year in Albany, NY, October 19-21.

The SBDC’s VBOP is a special SBA-funded pilot project that provides business counseling, training, and mentoring to New York military veterans who want to start a business or improve the performance of an existing business. Special priority is given to veterans with service-connected disabilities.

VBOP was launched in New York in the fall of 1999—one of just three such pilot programs in the U.S. In just the last three-and-a-half years, the New York VBOP has counseled over 5,000 veterans, helped them locate $76.5 million for their businesses, and saved or created more than 3,000 jobs in New York. VBOP has also provided business training to over 6,000 veterans.

SBA support enabled the SBDC to hire dedicated veterans business advisers at three of its regional centers—in Albany, Buffalo, and Long Island---near population centers. A Special Appropriation to VBOP from U.S. Congressman James Walsh enabled the SBDC to hire additional veterans business counselors to service Central New York, the Southern Tier, and other areas.

“SUNY looks to its SBDC for innovative programs that respond to the small business needs of our citizens,” observed SUNY Provost Peter D. Salins. “I can think of no better example than VBOP. We are incredibly proud of our military veterans, and will do everything in our power to see that they have every chance to succeed in business.”

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