SBA to host first senior business expo at Willimantic next week

WYNDHAM – The Connecticut Regional Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration will host its first free Veterans Business Expo on November 15. 2 at the East CT Veterans Community Center, 47 Crescent Street. at Willimantic.

Veterans and their families can access workshops and resources from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm Registration is encouraged but not required, and can be registered at

“We acknowledge that the overarching goal of National Veterans Small Business Week is to serve the communities that serve us,” said Connecticut Regional Office Director Kathryn Marx.

Prior to the workshop at 9:30 am, the keynote speaker was Thomas J. Saadi, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs.

Seminar topics are Getting Veteran-Owned Small Business Certification (9:30am), Business Plan Fundamentals (10:15am), Financing (11am), Franchising (11:45am), Retirement Military Readiness and Employment Services (12:30 p.m.) and Senior Business Outreach Center Resources (1 p.m.).

Exhibitors include Connecticut Secretary of State, Connecticut Procurement and Technical Assistance Center, Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Eastern Connecticut SCORE, Southeast Connecticut Enterprise District, multiple banks, and more.

SBA New England administrator Mike Vlacich said the idea was to “bring all the resources under one roof to make it easier to manage.” This applies not only to people looking to start a business, but also existing business owners looking to grow or change, he added.

There are 16,000 veterans-owned businesses in Connecticut, 81,000 in New England and nearly 2 million nationwide, Vlacich said.

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