Knoxville/Oak Ridge, Tenn. – Formed just months ago, the Tennessee Veterans Business Association (TVB A) has struck hard and fast on behalf of veteran-owned businesses.
“These folks have defended their country,” said TVBA president Jonathan Williams. “Now they want to contribute to its economy by providing first class services and products. They’re applying the skills and work ethic they learned during military service, and they’re creating jobs.”
The participation of nearly 1,000 attendees and 111 vendors at TVBA’s Jan. 25 Veteran Owned Business Vendor Day and Job Fair in Knoxville attests to the gratitude and respect the region’s business community has for veterans.
Vendors included large government contracting firms – many of them with ties to Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy’s Y-12 National Security Facility in Oak Ridge. Universities and community colleges also had a strong presence.
The focus, though, was on veteran-owned businesses, including builders, engineers, security firms, excavators, cleaners, financial planners, project management companies, career coaches and leadership specialists.
TVBA wants to become a statewide entity. The group plans to begin recruiting this year in Nashville and later in Memphis.
“We represent the business needs of a hardworking, talented group of people,” says Williams. “That’s a huge group across Tennessee.”
He said veterans who want to run their own business have many resources at their disposal. Federal “set aside” laws like Executive Order 13-360, for example, promote contracting opportunities for service disabled, veteran owned small businesses.
“The problem is these rules are not always well understood,” Williams said. “This is just one of the issues TVBA will address statewide.”
To learn more about the group and its goals, and to read about its members, visit the Tennessee Veterans Business Association website, www.jointvba.org or contact Jonathan Williams at 865/332-4476 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media representation: Clark Miller Communications, 865-414-1908