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Daily CSR
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U.S. Bank and VBOC of the Dakotas Join Forces to Empower Veteran Business Owners: A Focus on Knowledge and Community Support


U.S. Bank and the Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas have joined forces to provide support to veteran business owners. Their inaugural event, sponsored by U.S. Bank, recently took place in Fargo, North Dakota.
Jeramie Eimers, a participant in the event and a business development officer in the Business Banking Healthcare division at U.S. Bank, emphasized the desire of many active-duty military professionals, such as dentists, optometrists, and medical doctors, to fulfill their dream of owning their own practice. Eimers, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, highlighted the rewarding aspect of offering a comprehensive approach to meet the banking needs of these individuals, stressing the importance of supporting those currently serving or who have served the country.
Eimers, who serves with the South Dakota Air National Guard, actively contributes to veterans' causes, including welcoming veterans home after Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. Alongside his U.S. Bank colleagues, he is dedicated to assisting active-duty military members in transitioning into civilian life as business owners.
The event brought together dozens of veteran business owners in Fargo, providing a platform to share challenges, explore solutions, and learn from Eimers and his U.S. Bank colleagues about the intricacies of starting and growing a business.
With over 18 million veterans in the U.S., their collective impact on the economy is substantial. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2023 data, veteran-owned businesses represent about 5% of all businesses in the country, spanning various industries.
Eimers, who participated in a panel during the first Brewing Financial Connections event in 2023, emphasized the importance of providing financial tips and business development strategies to veteran business owners. He sees knowledge as a crucial factor in determining a business's ability to grow and thrive successfully.
While the partnership between U.S. Bank and the VBOC of the Dakotas is recent, the outreach center, part of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has a longstanding commitment to helping veterans. The Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas focuses on imparting essential concepts for starting, running, and operating a small business to veterans, active-duty members, and military spouses.
“Our partnership with U.S. Bank is a fantastic collaboration that enhances our existing outreach efforts,” said Julie Hinker, the program director for the VBOC of the Dakotas. “U.S. Bank's commitment to supporting veteran-owned entrepreneurs aligns perfectly with our mission. It has been instrumental in helping us organize this event, which allowed us to reach a broader audience and offer valuable resources to veteran and military spouse business owners throughout the Dakotas.”
Recollecting their initial conversation, Jesse Mamaril, the Community Affairs Manager for North and South Dakota at U.S. Bank, shared that his introductory call with Hinker evolved swiftly into a collaborative session focused on enhancing support for veteran business owners. The common thread for both the VBOC of the Dakotas and U.S. Bank was the emphasis on knowledge.
Mamaril emphasized the value of knowledge, stating, "There is wealth in knowledge. Bringing together small businesses, nonprofits, and community leaders to share their expertise only strengthens a more sustainable community. Success in small business contributes to a more dynamic local economy."
Hinker echoed a similar sentiment, highlighting that supporting veteran-owned businesses is a way of giving back to those who have served the country. He emphasized that choosing to buy from or collaborate with veteran-owned businesses not only boosts the economy but also creates additional job opportunities for veterans. Hinker sees this as a mutually beneficial scenario that fosters a stronger sense of community and support.
This perspective strongly resonates with Eimers, who dedicates his days to supporting aspiring and current veteran business owners in the healthcare sector at U.S. Bank while concurrently serving actively in the National Guard.
“Helping a business owner start out, find their footing and grow is not something any one person or group can do,” Eimers said. “It, as they say, takes a village.”