WAUPACA COUNTY, WISCONSIN – The Waupaca County Veterans Service Office, in conjunction with the Waupaca County Economic Development Corporation and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Stevens Point, initiated the Waupaca County Veteran Entrepreneurial Training Grant Program (VET-GP) today.
The Waupaca County Board of Supervisors agreed to designate $150,000 of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to veteran and veteran spouse owned businesses and prospective business owners in Waupaca County. The program will provide Wisconsin’s Veteran entrepreneurs either living in or operating out of Waupaca County with post-COVID related business development, disaster preparedness, sustainability planning, and direct grant funds. The VET-GP utilizes a competitive application process. Accepted participants will receive a $5,000 business grant upon completion of the SBDC at UW-Stevens Point’s Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP) which will be offered four times over the next two years.
“This is a unique program and gets to the heart of what our office and partners do best and that is creating public value through robust programming, leading to enhanced quality of life for the participants and the broader community,” said Jesse Cuff, Waupaca County’s Director of Veteran Services. “Programs like this provide our veteran and dependent population with post-service opportunities and support that have the potential to jump-start and maintain their next chapter of productive citizenship, right here in our own community.” Patrick Gatterman, the Director of the SBDC at UW-Stevens Point adds, “Being in a cohort with other veteran and veteran spouse entrepreneurs for the ETP program will be such a unique opportunity for the participants; being surrounded by people who have had similar experiences as you will provide additional value to the already highly valuable content that our program has.”
Eligible applicants are encouraged to apply. They must:
- Be a current service member, honorably discharged veteran, or current/surviving spouse of service member/veteran,
- Be a current resident of or owner/operator of a business located in Waupaca County, and
- Complete the online application
The program is set to serve up to 26 veterans and veteran spouses over the next two years. “It’s fantastic to see a program that will directly support an underserved, but vital community of veterans in our county”, says Jeff Mikorski, the Executive Director of the Waupaca County Economic Development Corp. Program outcomes include retention, expansion, and creation of 26 businesses and at least 50 associated jobs. Further, a key objective of VET-GP includes securing funding and support to sustain this program beyond the initial three-year period.
Any interested veteran and veteran spouse entrepreneurs, prospective or current, should visit the website to learn more about the program; see the full qualifications and apply: https://bit.ly/WaupacaVET-GP
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The Waupaca County Veteran Service Office reaches out to, coordinates with, and empowers the veterans of Waupaca County. We stand ready to assist, educate, and advise resident veterans (and eligible dependents) on non-profit, local, state, and federal benefits associated with military service.
More information about the Waupaca CVSO is available on the Internet at http://www.co.waupaca.wi.us/.
You can also connect with Waupaca CVSO on social media at https://www.facebook.com/WaupacaCVSO