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Join us every 1st Monday of the month at 8 AM CT. Join some of the country’s top business professionals for informal chats covering Servant Leadership, Business Finance and much more.

Be a part of launching a vanguard for Veteran Small Business Leaders in our region! Join Us in celebrating over 15 years helping veterans! 

Upcoming Events

Ascent Virtual Book Club

Oct. 20- Nov. 17, 2021- 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Employer Recruitment Networking Event

Nov. 9, 2021- 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM CST

Upskilling Grant


For businesses that intend to train and upskill low-wage workers age 50+, this grant program will reimburse employers up to $2,500 per employee for training.

Grant Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Applicant is a small business with qualifying employee(s) 50+ years of age
  2. The applicant intends to train qualifying employee(s) to improve or add to their job skills
  3. Qualifying employee(s) currently earn $16/hour or less on average
  4. Training to be completed by December 1, 2021
  5. Applicant attests to increasing wage at least $2/hour once training is completed ($2.50/hour min. increase to earn the maximum grant award)

Startup Conference & Resource Fair

Nov. 8 - Nov. 12, 2021

Celebrate the successes of 2021 and learn about the resources available for powering your startup and growing your company.

Resource Fair: Wednesday, November 10, 2021

4:00 PM -7:00 PM

Veteran Businesses and Commercial Markets

Nov. 16, 2021- 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM CST

Join VetBiz and U.S. Commercial Service experts for a one-of-a-kind event. Every year, the U.S. Commercial Service (the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration) helps thousands of U.S. companies export goods and services worth billions of dollars.

The VetsGoGlobal initiative can work with veteran-owned businesses like yours to identify and take advantage of export opportunities.

Our global network of trade professionals is located throughout the United States and in U.S. Embassies and Consulates in more than 70 countries. Whether you’re looking to make your first export sale or expand to additional markets, we offer the expertise you need to connect with lucrative opportunities and increase your bottom line. Why Export? Over 90% of all consumers live outside the U.S. borders; foreign consumers hold 75% of global purchasing power.

Should I Export? Veterans possess the skills and traits necessary to succeed in the international marketplace—strong intercultural communication skills, adaptability, attention to detail, objective-based focus, and a wide variety of experiences.

You are a leader! Grow your skills! Check out this scholarship for Veterans and Military Spouses looking to develop leadership and entrepreneurial skills. Through the generous support of Regions and in partnership with the VetBiz scholarships for the Spring 2022 cohort are available for veterans and military spouses. The Take Point Scholarship will cover the cost for one of two Focus St. Louis Leaderships programs. Women in Leadership or Emerging Leaders.

FOCUS Women in Leadership

The FOCUS Women in Leadership (WIL) program is a three-month, part-time training program that provides women the opportunity to refine their personal, professional, and civic leadership competencies, learn about the St. Louis community and connect with other women from diverse backgrounds.

Deadline to Apply: December 10, 2021

Emerging Leaders

Designed for young professionals ages 22-35, the Emerging Leaders program offers the opportunity to strengthen your personal, professional, and civic leadership skills, gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the St. Louis region and build connections with a diverse network of peers.

Deadline to Apply: December 10, 2021

Lending with the SBA

From small business loans and grant-funded programs, the SBA offers a variety of funding programs to fit your business needs:

Learn more about the SBA funding programs available for your veteran-owned small business. And if your business has been affected by the pandemic, check out SBA’s COVID-19 guidance and loan resources for additional assistance.

News and Updates

Disaster Relief Updates

COVID- 19 Business Resources

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Details on application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF).

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Video Tutorial 

Are you interested in applying for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant? Watch the video below.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grants Frequently Asked Questions
Targeted EIDL Frequently Asked Questions
Targeted EIDL Advance Mapping Tool

Determine if your business is located in a low-income community as defined in section 45D(e) of the Internal Revenue Code:

Get help with your PPP Loan
Business Loan Program Temporary Changes
Learn More Here ​​​

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions


  • Long-term direct loan program from the SBA 
  •  Used to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.
  • Provides up to six months of working capital.
  • Loan Terms: 3.75% APR (fixed): businesses 2.75% APR (fixed); non-profits over 30 years 
  • Collateral rtequired for loans over $25,000


  • Loans made through nearly 5,500 lenders across the country
  • Designed to provide an incentive for small businesses to keep workers on the payroll.
  • Loan Terms:  1% over 2 years or 5 years, depending on when the loan was approved
  • No collateral required 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)- Apply Here

Shuttered Venues Grant- Application Checklist 

Paycheck Protection Program- Find a Lender 


The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program is Section 324 of the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act) signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, and was part of H.R. 133 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

Learn More 

Shuttered Veneus Grant: 

  • Eligible entities may be live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives, per the Economic Aid Act. Additionally, entities of these types owned by state or local governments (for example, museums or historic homes) are eligible to apply if the governmentally-owned entity also acts solely as a venue operator, museum, etc.

PPP (Round 2)

  • The business was operational before February 15, 2020 and is still operational
  • The business has fewer than 300 employees (per location) 
  • The business has seen a 25% or greater reduction in gross revenue


  • Businesses with 500 or fewer employees 
  • Cooperatives with 500 or fewer employees
  • Agricultural enterprises with 500 or fewer employees
  • Most private nonprofits •
  • Faith-based organizations 
  • Sole proprietorships and independent contractors

ST. LOUIS (May 3, 2021) – VetBiz, formerly the Veterans Business Resource Center, is relocating to adjacent and larger offices in the Curlee Building, 611 N. 10th St. in St. Louis as part of its Forward 15 Celebration. 

The nonprofit organization will hold an in-person open house to showcase its new space on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A ribbon-cutting with St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones will be live-streamed for viewing on Facebook and the VetBiz website at 

Additional dignitaries attending the ceremony are Maureen Brinkley, Director of the St. Louis District of the Small Business Administration; and Veteran Business Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, William ‘Bill’ Elmore. 

VetBiz invites anyone interested in a tour of the newly renovated office space to schedule a time to visit on Monday, May 24. To schedule a tour, here

“Our move to larger offices will prepare us for our next 15 years of training service members and their families to open or grow their businesses. The expansion is part of our Forward 15 Celebration of our first 15 years in operation and will ensure that the VBRC continues to meet its mission of providing world-class entrepreneurship education and counsel,” Darcella Craven, president (and chief fear conqueror) of VetBiz, said.  

The Forward 15 Celebration is a fundraising and sustainability campaign that seeks to keep VetBiz’s business training services free and available to any current or former service member or family members. 

St. Louis (May 2021) – VetBiz, the nation’s first center assisting military Veteran entrepreneurs, was awarded a grant of $485,000 a year for two additional option years to continue administrative functions in support of the entrepreneurial training and counseling programs conducted by the Center. VetBiz, which will celebrate its 17th anniversary on June 7, has worked tirelessly to continue operating and serving veteran, military and military family business owners in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and southern Illinois. This funding is in the form of a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration, Office of Veterans Business Development. The Center has won this very competitive government award for the last 13 years. The Center provides individually tailored advice, training, seminars, and an annual summit for Veterans and military families who wish to start a company or scale a current venture.

 “We are grateful for the unwavering support in this region. From the advocacy for veterans of our congressional representatives to the collaborative partnerships with other entrepreneurship support agencies we are excited to continue our mission.” Said VetBiz President and Chief Fear Conqueror Darcella Craven. “Over 65 volunteers in the area have helped us to serve the men and women who have fought for this country when they return home.” 

“It has been an honor to participate in the entrepreneurship journey of veterans and their families.”, said VetBiz Board Vice Chair Brian Sexton. “As a small business owner, I understand their pain, their excitement and the commitment it takes. Having VetBiz available to them to help makes all the difference.”

VetBiz has supplied group entrepreneurship training, seminars, webinars and individual counseling to more than 40,000 Veterans, military and family members at no charge over the last thirteen years.  The Center implements the Boots to Business (B2B) on 7 military post in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and southern Illinois. Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP). B2B provides participants with an overview of business ownership and is open to transitioning service members (including National Guard and Reserve) and their spouses.

The organization can now concentrate on raising funds from the community to expand the services and programmatic tools offered. “With our small staff, we enjoy an excellent reputation with veterans as business building experts and have wonderful relationships with area companies as a fiscally responsible nonprofit.” explains Josh Frank, VetBiz Chair.  “As mentioned, this core funding is specifically for administrative functions. It is imperative that we continue to receive local sponsorship and donations to maintain our outreach programs, offer seminars and travel to those veterans who are unable to get to us. We still need energized donors and volunteers to help us build on this foundation.”

The Center staff has worked hard to create and maintain solid relationships with other economic development organizations to connect clients to available resources. “We are thrilled that VetBiz has received this award as they are a true partner to the U.S. Small Business Administration in terms of counseling, training, and supporting veteran entrepreneurs.”, explains Maureen Brinkley, SBA St. Louis District Director.  “Darcella Craven, staff members, members of their Board and five of their clients have been recognized in prior years as SBA’s “Veteran Business Champion of the Year” or “Veteran Small Business of the Year” both locally and nationally. We look forward to future endeavors with this very dedicated group of individuals.” 

VetBiz was established in 2004 and assists all U.S. military Veterans, Guard or Reserve members and active-duty personnel transitioning to civilian life to start businesses or expand existing companies.  Its parent organization is The Veterans Advocacy Foundation, Inc. (VAF), an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit Missouri Corporation. Founded in 1996 and operated by a service-connected disabled veteran, the VAF provides funding, guidance, and personnel for the nation’s first dedicated Veterans Business Resource Center, as well as legislative support and advocacy on behalf of American Veterans.

The foundation is governed by a board of directors comprised of 14 members, many Veterans, and all outstanding achievers in their respective fields. Core funding is supplemented by private industry donors including American Direct Marketing Resource, Veterans United Foundation, Regions Bank and other spirited donors. 

Entrepreneurship Training

Classes and Trainings

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp For Veterans (EBV)

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) national program is a novel, one-of-a-kind initiative designed to leverage the skills, resources, and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with a passion for entrepreneurship. The aim of the program is to open the door to economic opportunity for our veterans by developing their competencies in creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial venture.

2021 Enrollment


Boots to Business Reboot

Reboot Boots to Business is a one-day training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership. 

St. Louis, MO- Online

Feburary 16 , 2021
8:30 AM

National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP)

The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) offers cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to soldiers, sailors, airmen, members of the coast guard, and marines disabled as a result of their service.

Phase One-Online Pre-Course

January 18- February 20, 2021

Phase Two-Residence Program

February 20 - April 25, 2021

Phase Three-Advising & Venture Development

June 1- October 31, 2021

2021 Enrollment:


Veterans Entrepreneurship Training Level I (VET-I)

Training for US military service member, veteran, or spouse of either, and looking to transition into entrepreneurship or grow your already existing early-stage business.  Hands-on weekly classes bring founders of game-changing companies and subject matter experts to give you essential information about customer channels, business models, legal and accounting necessities, and more. By the end of 12 weeks, you will have the knowledge and skills necessary to create a solid, sustainable venture from the ground up.
VET participants also get access to Veterans Future Lab programming during the program and for three months post completion. Graduates will be eligible to enroll in the upcoming VET-II program.

Application Deadline:


Upcoming Webinars

Are you considering selling your products/services to the government? This webinar provides an introduction to the world of government contracting. In this recurring monthly workshop, you will learn about the requirements, certifications, websites, and general information to get you started on the path to government contracting. This training is hosted on the third Thursday of each month, and the content does not change month to month.

Questions: Daniel Kuchar, 402-853-3393 or


Are you looking for some insight into Strategic Marketing?  Join our Virtual Book club as we explore the new SBA Ascent Online Learning Platform! We will be collaboratively going through Journey #2 – Strategic Marketing. Participants will work on each section on their own during the week, then convene on Thursdays to discuss insights, get expert tips & more! You can participate in one or all! The series goes through April 15th. Check out Ascent at

Questions: Elizabeth Yearwood, 402-221-7200 or


Whether you are just starting out or expanding your business, at some point you will probably need financing. This webinar covers a variety of funding sources such as business loans, SBA guaranteed loans, microloans, crowdfunding and more. You’ll learn what lenders want to see in your business plan, what you can typically expect to put down for a loan and much more! This webinar is part of Start Omaha Work Week.

Questions: Elizabeth Yearwood, 402-221-7200 or


Companies who regularly experience success have put in the preparation to make it happen. Forward thinking leaders and companies set themselves up for success by laying a proactive foundation, foreseeing problems, and taking steps to avoid them. In this case study, we will uncover the successes and struggles of a local company who is already well on their CMMC compliance journey. We know they will still be conducing business for years to come because of their dedication to core values and to the markets they serve. Find out how you can ensure success for you and your company before it is too late. Presented by Russell Vaughn from Ascend Technology Group.

Questions: Daniel Kuchar,  402-853-3393


Join us for a presentation and discussion that will include taking the first step to starting your budget, finding resources to help build a budget, working with variance analysis, and using benchmarks to evaluate your business. This webinar is part of the Start Omaha Work Week.

Questions: 402-554-6232


Have you looked into claiming your business on Google? Join this course to learn how to do that and how to update hours of operation, plus other tips and tricks.

Questions: Raul Arcos Hawkins, 308-833-0260 or


Join us for a discussion on the basics of borrowing. You’ll learn the ways to distinguish between a secured and unsecured loan, how to identify the three types of loans, the costs associated with getting a loan, and much more! This webinar is part of the Start Omaha Work Week.

Questions: 402-685-5500


Many small business owners think they would never fall victim to cybercriminals. It happens, and during this course, attendees will hear about Nebraska small businesses that have suffered from cyber-attacks – and the aftermath.

Questions: Vicky Espinoza, or 402-380-3353


Learn how to jazz up your social media campaigns on Facebook by utilizing animations, videos and more. The Nebraska Enterprise Fund will explore various features in Facebook that can help you improve interest and have a little fun. This webinar is part of the Start Omaha Work Week.

Questions: 402-685-5500


Properly understanding and collecting sales and use tax is a critical component to running your small business successfully by avoiding any possible tax assessments from the Department of Revenue. This webinar will cover the basics you need to know. The presenter is Bob Cox from SCORE.

Questions: Elizabeth Yearwood, 402-221-7200 or


Investment is a critical element of any budget. In this training, Certified Financial Planner John Posey will discuss how investing discipline can lead to more financial freedom. You’ll learn about investment principles and historical evidence that can help you become a better investor. You’ll also discover why investment timing and selection don’t matter as much as you might think.

Questions: 308-338-3520


Are you thinking about starting a business, or are you already in business? Either way, there are tons of free business resources available to you on the city, state and federal levels! We’ll talk about where you can get free assistance to start, grow and expand your business, find amazing free online small business resources and free online learning opportunities, and explore Nebraska specific resources available to entrepreneurs! This webinar is part of Start Omaha Work Week.

Questions: Elizabeth Yearwood, 402-221-7200 or


Are you a military veteran interested in agriculture? Join CFRA, assisted by Nebraska Extension and Legal Aid, as we navigate a year in the life of a local veteran farmer. In 2021, we will rotate between online classroom sessions and on-farm (with an online option sessions).

Questions: Erin Schoenberg, or 402-499-2781


The Davis-Bacon Act requires that contractors pay their laborers a minimum amount depending on their labor

classification. Join Chuck Beck from the Nebraska PTAC for an overview of this act and how it relates to your business when contracting.

Questions: Daniel Kuchar,  402-853-3393


Have you endlessly Googled how to write a “perfect business plan?” Our presenter will let you in on a little secret… it doesn’t exist. Execution and adaptability can be just as important as the research. Learn more on this webinar! Presenter is Kelly Grefe from Greater Omaha SCORE and Northwest Bank.

Questions: Elizabeth Yearwood, 402-221-7200 or


Have you tried Facebook advertising to expand your business? In this training, participants will learn why they should, and how to use Facebook marketing, as well as how to sell on Facebook MarketPlace and how to create an audience with target marketing. This is a great opportunity to enhance marketing in a budget-friendly way.

Questions: Raul Arcos-Hawkins, or 308-833-0260


An introductory look at how to win Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Research grants.

Learn how to find, apply, and create a strategies to gain funding for a growing technology business.

The highly competitive SBIR program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and research development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. SBIR enables small businesses to explore technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. Kansas City area companies have successfully funded their research with SBIR/STTR grants that can total up to $1.5 million for each business. Learn how your business could qualify.

This class will be taught live through Zoom.

This webinar will give you the info you need to start sharing your business’s story online and making content that will resonate with viewers. We’ll cover the basics of starting a video conversation with your customers by live streaming with just a cell phone, all the way to using advanced lighting, cameras, and computers!

Questions: 308-338-3520


The NBDC PTAC’s Demystifying Government Contracting series guides attendees through 11 sessions from the beginnings of the contracting process all the way to the end – including special topics. Businesses can join the series at whatever point is relevant to their company.  A capability statement is a short, one-page document with important information about your company. Capability statements can be used to help market your business to a government agency. However, contracting offers are very selective when reviewing a company’s capability statement. Join the Nebraska PTAC and the Small Business Administration to learn about what to include on your document and how to present it.

Questions: Daniel Kuchar, 402-853-3393 or


Learn about what investors need to know and want to see before making an investment in a start-up.

Presented by Michele Weigand, Managing Partner of Focused Perspective with over 27 years of Finance and Business Development experience. Michele was the former Chief Investment Officer for KTEC and managed investments for GE Mortgage and GE Reinsurance.

All ELEVATIONLAB courses are currently in live zoom format.

Partner Events

Score LIVE Webinars


Sept. 23rd: How Retailers Can Capitalize on Evolving Consumer Behavior with Payment, Fulfillment Models, and More

Sept. 28th: Boom! Take Your Business to the Next Level Using Webinars, Podcasts, Live Streaming, and Beyond

            Note: All webinars are recorded –

    Note: All webinars are recorded

NEF: 1 Day Quickbook Training with Benefits 8:30-4:30om

Date/ Time: December 11, 2020 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM - Omaha, NE

NEF is hosting QuickBooks Training for potential clients that did not receive a PPP or SBA EIDL. This program will be customized to meet the needs of small business owners, entrepreneurs & start-ups. The content will include 1 day of training on business set up and system functions, including customer, employee, vendor, writing checks & paying bills, invoicing & receiving payments, payroll & more! A laptop w software will be provided for participants to utilize during the class. Includes lunch $15 (includes lunch). 

Register Here

NEF: 1 Day Quickbook Training with Benefits

Date/ Time: December 12, 2020 9:00 AM -4:30 PM- Omaha, NE

This is a 1-day quickbooks training where you’ll learn basic quickbooks, get one-on-one training setting up your business on quickbooks, clients or customers, products and/or services. A laptop with the software loaded will be provided for your use during the workshop. Register Here

Take the next steps?

Do you have a business idea?  Are you ready to grow your already established Veteran business?

The first step is to Request Counseling so that we can assist you. We will take it from there. Our counselors are skilled at getting you from point A to B. Your unit has not left you!