This article was in the Colorado Springs Business Journal – they quoted our Director, CJ Niehoff
Veterans who own small businesses appear to be making more progress towards recovery than their peers, according to a new poll from Alignable, a small business referral network. The poll shows greater optimism, resilience and recovered revenue among male and female veteran business owners.
Alignable asked veterans how they’re getting through the COVID crisis in the poll, conducted among 8,092 small business owners Oct. 24-27. Ted Rejman of King Ferry Bottling Co. identified a unifying theme among veterans: “There is an ingrained sense of always looking for the good to come from what may look not so good. There is a sense of never giving up, always looking forward to a better situation.”
Jerry Bowden, a disabled veteran and president of Revealio Software and Media Solutions, added, “Veteran business owners are battle-tested and accustomed to overcoming adversity and difficult circumstances. They’re trained to survive in the worst of situations. When COVID first began threatening the way we conduct business, veteran business owners started analyzing and strategizing how they were going to navigate through the changes and come out on top. Strategy plus action equals success.”
While 65 percent of the veterans said COVID continues to negatively affect their businesses, the survey showed veteran-owned businesses are making strides despite their challenges.
- 75 percent of veteran-owned businesses will pay their rent in full and on time in November, compared to only 68 percent of their peers.
- 69 percent of veteran-owned businesses are fully open vs. 62 percent of others nationally.
- 61 percent of veteran-owned businesses report having cash reserves to cover at least three months, while only 50 percent of other businesses have that kind of cash on hand.
- 38 percent of veterans say they’ve matched or exceeded their pre-COVID monthly revenue, in contrast to 31 percent of other SMBs.
“Many business owners continue to fight hard to keep their operations going despite countless COVID issues,” Alignable CEO and co-founder Eric Groves said. “But amid this unparalleled struggle, it’s inspiring to see these determined, optimistic warriors forge what appears to be a stronger path toward recovery, leading the way for their local economies.”
Another poll finding highlights the positivity that propels many veterans.
When asked, “What aspect of your financial recovery gives you the most concern?” veterans were 35 percent more likely to answer, “Nothing, everything is good,” compared to other business owners. That said, veterans and non-veterans alike agreed that the No. 1 concern looking ahead is that governments might enforce new SMB shutdowns due to increasing outbreaks. While a new wave of closures would lead to yet another round of battles for small businesses, Alignable member and veteran Bryan Tuggle of The Butler Did It suggests how everyone can maintain the right mindset. “I constantly remind myself that, ‘You are what you think, what you think, you believe, and what you believe, you become,’” Tuggle said. “I choose success. I adapt and overcome.”
Alignable’s poll illustrates that “adapt and overcome” is a lesson everyone can learn from veterans, according to a release Nov. 2. These veterans bring leadership values to small business communities. “It’s a patriotic act to support local businesses that are veteran-owned,” said C.J. Niehoff, president of Skills After Service, a company that prepares veterans for the civilian workforce. “Veterans typically run their businesses with honor and integrity. They’re often the best of what our society has to offer and during Veterans Small Business Week [Nov. 2-6], we’re reminded to purchase goods and services from small, veteran-run businesses. They want to get things done and they want to get them done right.”
Alignable is the largest online referral network for small businesses with over 5.5 million members across North America. Alignable established its research center in early March 2020, to track and report the impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, and to monitor recovery efforts.
See previous polls here.