Dell Technologies

Forbes list of best employers for veterans in 2020

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Companies now “get it” and realize the value that Veterans bring to the their companies.  This has increased their recruitment offers for Veterans.  Recruiting Veterans also hits many of the boxes for Diversity and Inclusion.   As a result the jobless rate for Veterans has decreased significantly, less than half from 6.6 percent in 2013 to 3.1 percent in 2019 (pre-Covid).

We think that this list might be an asset to Veteran Small Business Owners that more often than not, hire Veterans when they are looking to add employees.

Forbes in partnership with the market research firm, Statista surveyed more than 5,000 United States Veterans who served including National Guard and Reserves.  All of those survey work either full or part time for over 1,000 employers.   The survey was conducted from March, 2020 to June June, 2020.  It asked respondents to evaluate their employers’ working conditions and approach to diversity and inclusion as well as whether their environment is veteran-friendly.  Below is a list of the Best Employers.   On a personal note, a company in my own county, Harbor Freight Tools in Camarillo, California (located in Ventura county) came in first.

Some additional factors to consider in this survey are that men outnumbered women in Forbes’ survey, a reflection of the predominance of men in the armed forces, and a substantial percentage of respondents, 40%, held upper management positions. Some 8% of veterans said they worked in the aerospace and defense industry, compared to 2.7% of respondents for Forbes’ 2019 list of America’s Best Employers.

On a personal note, I want to add a few companies that I personally know values, hires, and invests in Veteran Employees.  Johnson and Johnson not only hire Veterans but has an entire department to provide resources as does Dell Technologies.   VAMBOA salutes all these Veteran Friendly companies.

Below is the Forbes full list of the 150 Best Employers for Veterans:


Rank Name  
1 Harbor Freight Tools  
2 Northeastern University  
3 Procter & Gamble  
4 Fidelity Investments  
5 Booz Allen Hamilton  
6 United Services Automobile Association (USAA)  
7 O’Reilly Auto Parts  
8 VMware  
9 Edward Jones    
10 Xcel Energy    
11 Southwest Airlines    
12 1st Source Bank    
13 Publix Super Markets    
14 CACI International    
15 Vanguard    
16 Texas Roadhouse    
17 Janney    
18 Abbott Laboratories    
19 H-E-B    
20 Froedtert Health    
21 Department of the Treasury    
22 Intel    
23 Methodist Health System (Nebraska)    
24 TTEC    
25 Citigroup    
Rank Name    
26 Social Security Administration    
27 American International Group    
28 Burns & McDonnell Engineering    
29 Cass Information Systems    
30 BAE Systems    
31 Lockheed Martin    
32 Michelin Group      
33 Apple      
34 Re/Max      
35 Department of the Interior      
36 Choice Hotels International      
37 Coldwell Banker      
38 Lee Memorial Health System      
39 NTT Data      
40 TD Bank      
41 Henry Ford Health System      
42 American Tower      
43 Brunswick      
44 Bank of America      
45 Ball      
46 NASA      
47 State of Arkansas      
48 Avera      
49 SpaceX      
50 CDW      
Rank Name      
51 State Farm      
52 Boeing      
53 OhioHealth      
54 Southern Company      
55 Delta Air Lines      
56 Humana      
57 Sutter Health      
58 Hartford HealthCare      
59 DaVita      
60 Jeld-Wen Holding      
61 Affiliated Managers Group      
62 Insight Enterprises      
63 Fidelity National Financial      
64 Hilton      
65 Intercontinental Hotels Group      
66 Canon      
67 Saia      
68 Accenture      
69 AutoZone      
70 24 Hour Home Care      
71 Western Governors University      
72 Salvation Army      
73 Prudential Financial      
74 Ameriprise Financial      
75 Ochsner Health System      
Rank Name      
76 Samsung Electronics      
77 Smithfield Foods      
78 University of Alabama      
79 Walt Disney      
80 Tesla      
81 Home Depot      
82 Ford Motor      
83 Deloitte      
84 PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric)      
85 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services      
86 Microsoft      
87 PSEG (Public Service Enterprise Group)      
88 Truist Financial      
89 Autodesk      
90 First Financial Bank      
91 Amazon      
92 DHS – Department of Homeland Security      
93 UCHealth      
94 Ally Financial      
95 SAIC      
96 Huntington Ingalls Industries      
97 JetBlue Airways      
98 Cisco Systems      
99 U.S. Courts      
100 Camping World Holdings      
Rank Name      
101 Zurich Insurance Group      
102 Nike      
103 Mercy Healthcare & Social    
104 BASF Construction, Oil & Gas

Operations, Mining and Chemicals

105 Goodyear Automotive (Automotive

and Suppliers)

106 Sherwin-Williams Construction, Oil & Gas

Operations, Mining and Chemicals

107 Northrop Grumman Aerospace & Defense    
108 American Systems IT, Internet, Software &


109 Nissan Motor Automotive (Automotive

and Suppliers)

110 Des Moines Public Schools Education    
111 National Grid USA Utilities    
112 U.S. Department of Justice Government Services    
113 Google IT, Internet, Software &


114 ExxonMobil Construction, Oil & Gas

Operations, Mining and


115 United Airlines Transportation and


116 DCH Health System Healthcare & Social    
117 HSBC Holdings Banking and Financial


118 IBM IT, Internet, Software & Services    
119 Osceola County Government Services    
120 Loews Hotels Travel & Leisure    
121 Becton Dickinson Health Care Equipment &


122 General Dynamics Aerospace & Defense    
123 Aerojet Rocketdyne Aerospace & Defense    
124 DTE Energy Utilities    
125 Jacobs Technology Solutions


Rank Name Industries    
126 Waste Management Utilities    
127 Marriott International Travel & Leisure    
128 Wyndham Destinations Travel & Leisure    
129 L3Harris Technologies Aerospace & Defense    
130 Lennar Construction, Oil & Gas

Operations, Mining and


131 PNC Financial Services Banking and Financial


132 Advocate Health Care Healthcare & Social    
133 Saputo Cheese Food, Soft Beverages,

Alcohol & Tobacco

134 3M Packaged Goods    
135 Ascension Healthcare & Social    
136 Mohawk Industries Engineering,


137 JPMorgan Chase Banking and Financial


138 Apollo Retail Business Services &


139 Designer Brands Clothing, Shoes, Sports


140 School District of Osceola County Education    
141 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Education    
142 Roche Holding Drugs & Biotechnology    
143 NextEra Energy Utilities    
144 National Vision Hldgs Health Care Equipment &


145 Accounting Principals Professional Services    
146 General Motors Automotive (Automotive

and Suppliers)

147 Caterpillar Engineering, Manufacturing    
148 Navy Federal Credit Union Banking and Financial


149 Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Government Services    
150 Bosch Engineering,





Rebuilding Your Business After COVID-19 : Part 1 of 2

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Unless you have been living under a rock or in seclusion, you understand the COVID-19 pandemic has ground many businesses to a halt and wreaked financial havoc all over the world. Many businesses are continuing to struggle as the pandemic continues to rage months after it first began. According to a recent study by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), as of March 30, 2020 approximately 92% of small businesses that responded said they were suffering negative financial impacts as a result of the pandemic. Only 5% said they have experienced no effects at all.

A plan can dramatically help your business get back on track once the danger has passed. The short-term outlook for businesses varies widely depending on your industry.   No one knows what the “new normal” will be and we can only make guesses at how the overall economy will look. There are a few things you can do right now to prepare your business for a post-COVID-19 world.  They include the following:


1.) Assess the Overall Financial Damage to Your Business:

Before you can start planning how you will recover, you need to know exactly how your business has been impacted.  Now is the time to collect all of the numbers (from places such as profit and loss or cash flow statements) in order to compare them to previous years and determine just how much it has affected you. Next you will need to take a close look at how at what other parts of your business have been impacted including if you had to lay off workers, you were forced to greatly reduce marketing budgets or it became necessary to have workers perform their jobs remotely from in home offices.


2.) Will you Need Funding to Recover?

Your business may need a fresh infusion of cash to get back on its feet. The earlier you get the ball rolling on financing, the better off you will be. Take the time to research your options so that you find the right financing for your individual needs.

There are several options that you may consider, such as:

  • Small business loans and microloans
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (which is designed to provide funding to small businesses that are struggling to retain their employees during the pandemic)
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans(short-term pandemic financing for things other than employee retention)
  • Business credit cards
  • Business lines of credit
  • Inventory financing
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Small business term loans from banks, credit unions and online lenders
  • Vendor trade-lines
  • Accounts receivable financing
  • Purchase order financing
  • Equipment financing
  • And more

Each option has its own pros and cons so do your research and always consult a professional if you need guidance.


3.) Revise Your Business Plan:

Your business plan may have been working perfectly for your business pre-COVID-19, but now it may need some fine-tuning or outright re-writing. Specifically, you need to consider how your business will be able to adjust to the new normal once to survive during COVID or hopefully after it is gone. Take a good look at what was working for your business before the pandemic that may not work as well now and see where you can adjust or improve to remain competitive in your industry.

If you previously had a traditional brick and mortar shop before COVID-19, you may want to now expand into eCommerce or digital offerings since more people are turning to online shopping for all of their needs. If your employees are now working from home, you may consider keeping that arrangement.  In other words, you need to fine tune your business.

You should also take a good look at the current trends and what your competitors are doing in your industry. You may find a gap that your business could easily fulfill which could be critical to reclaiming and expanding your customer base going forward.


The second part of this series will offer you more recommendations including going over your budget, your budget, your re-build timeline and why you should have a plan in place for the next crisis. Stay tuned.

A Little About VAMBOA

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By Debbie Gregory.

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VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association is your non-profit trade association.  There are other associations out there for Veterans and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) that also address some of the needs of population.  We are a little different than other associations.

As the CEO of VAMBOA, I’d like to explain how we are different and some of what we offer so that Veteran and Military Business Owners may gain the most benefit from VAMBOA.

VAMBOA’s focus is to provide those we serve with as much valuable information and as many resources as possible.  We also want to make it easy for you to access it. We are highly cognizant of the fact that small business owners have limited time and must use it wisely.

It is not possible to attend all the conferences that will yield helpful and provide you valuable resources and also be away from your business.  Additionally, it can be very expensive and not only in the time away from your business, but the cost of travel, hotels, meals, conference fees.  More importantly, you can lose or compromise business by not being there to work with clients, prospects and your team.  Small business owners wear many hats and operating a successful business requires you to be engaged and there more often than not.

VAMBOA has evolved and in a few words has become the “Go To Place” for Veterans, Service Disabled and Military Business Owners to obtain resources and do so online.  We work hard to provide you significant value on a regular basis.

VAMBOA’s team performs extensive research in all areas of business that are important to you.  We write, edit, and post online on our blog a minimum of three important articles weekly to keep you informed without you having to leave your seat or your office.

VAMBOA has over 7,200 registered members and an extensive database of other Veteran, Service Disabled and Military Business Owners.  We are approaching a quarter of a million combined fans and followers on social media.  We regularly use various social medium platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to put forth important information for you.

VAMBOA also connects our members with corporations that are seeking a diverse network of suppliers that includes Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans and Military business owners.   We put forth their needs to our membership and contact individual members in the areas they seek for their Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Information (RFIs), to work with them and more.  We follow up and help you gain their business.

VAMBOA does not charge our members and all of services and connections are free of charge to you without dues or fees.  We also do not send you endless emails trying to sell you products or services.  VAMBOA relies solely on corporate sponsorship.   Corporations that sponsor us can easily connect to our huge audience.   They too don’t have to leave their offices and work to accomplish this goal nor do we go back to them over and over to sponsor various events.   We keep it simple and provide considerable value.

We place their corporate outreach to our members front and center in a variety of ways and repeat their message to engage and accomplish their goals.  We use the power of our huge database and the Internet including direct outreach, exposure on the VAMBOA website, emails, newsletters, social media posts and articles.  VAMBOA has impressive traffic with an outstanding US Alexa Traffic ranking of under 17,000 of all the billions of websites on the Internet (with Alexa the lower the number the better with Google being #1).

VAMBOA invites Veteran, Service-Disabled and Military Business Owners to join our association so your business can connect to companies that seek your skills and diversity.

You can register here:

VAMBOA also invites corporations that recognize the Veteran Business Owners are awesome and want to connect with them in an easy, efficient and cost-effective way to become sponsors.  Please send us an EMAIL!

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act & Small Business Taxes

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Taxes aren’t a fun to deal but incredibly important.  For most businesses, annual tax expenses are often their largest outlay of money annually.  These costs exceed rent or mortgage payments, vehicle expenses, and marketing costs. The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act drastically changed a lot of our tax laws, specifically ones for businesses. Below we outline some of the changes and provide you some advice.  Always check everything with your tax professional before taking action.



New Laws, New Rules

The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced the tax rates for some small businesses. C Corporations and S Corporations now have a flat tax rate on top of reduced tax rates for individuals. This act also added an array of deductions or credits for offering health insurance, retirement plan contributions, and continued wages during family and medical leave to your employees.


Some other deductions were eliminated or dramatically changed. Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, businesses were allowed to deduct the cost of entertainment for their clients. Now, regardless of how relevant, you cannot deduct entertainment and you can only deduct 50% of the cost of any food served (prior to the law you could deduct 100% of all entertainment and food).



Get A Pro

Did you know that new federal, state, and local tax rules occur each year? Not keeping up with all of the changes can really hurt your business. Most small businesses use paid tax professionals to complete their tax returns each year due to the complexity of our tax laws. Unfortunately, given the complexity of the changes by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, most paid professionals have been slowly raising their prices because of the added time now needed to complete the new forms and schedules.


Preparing for tax time and actually doing your taxes is a huge drain on a business’s resources. Even if your business uses a professional tax person, there are still a lot of things that must be taken care of by the business before the professional steps in; things like record keeping, meeting and talking with the tax professional, paying for services, checking past returns, and more.



Do Not Lie

Even if your business uses a tax professional, mistakes can still happen which can cost you additional in interest or penalties. You may also be tempted to try to outsmart the IRS, but their computer systems are state of the art and they catch conflicts in returns often.  Honesty is the best policy.



Our Advice

The US tax rules are constantly changing, it is always best to pay attention to taxes all year long (not just at tax time), watch for changes in laws, and always consult a professional for help.



Need more assistance?

The IRS has a lot of information on their website : IRS’s Small Business and Self-Employed Center.

Small Business Ideas for Veterans – Part 1

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Those who serve in the military obtain many skills in various areas that can be transferred to owning and operating their own business. If you are a veteran who wants to become an entrepreneur, but you don’t know what type of business you want to start, below are some ideas (in alphabetical order) for you to consider:


Adventure Travel Business

This is an excellent fit for those who love adventure and travel.  This is the type of business that allows you to customize adventure trips for your clients.  You should be physically able to lead the excursions and be knowledgeable of the areas you are visiting.


Arms Dealer

If you are proficient with firearms and can qualify for a gun dealer’s license, that usually includes background checks and fingerprint scans, you can buy and sell firearms as a business.


Auto Glass Repair & Replacement

This is a business that can be very lucrative if you have a solid customer base and provide good customer service. If you can’t secure a location that is spacious enough to contain all the vehicles whose windshields you might have to work on, consider a mobile replacement operation. Mobile glass replacement is becoming very popular to consumers.


Auto Repair Business

You must enjoy working on autos and be willing to constantly update your knowledge as the technology changes.



Starting a campground business is a wonderful business for those who love the outdoors. You will probably need to hire others to help out in the day to day operations, but camping has become more popular and can be lucrative.


Commercial Cleaning Business

Commercial cleaners keep the interiors and exteriors of businesses clean to ensure that the business image is hygienic and positive.  All you would need are the cleaning supplies and knowledge of cleaning chemicals.    This is an excellent business for service-disabled veterans to bid on government contracts.


Construction Business

If you are handy with tools and building, you may want to enter the construction industry.  You should obtain the proper licenses in place before you start your business.  You may want to specialize in specific areas of construction such as plumbing, roofing, framing, HVAC, patios, etc. and decide if you want to focus on residential or commercial.


Courier Service

If you have a cell phone and reliable transportation, you can start a courier business. You may want to decide on whether you will focus on residential or business services.  People an businesses want convenience.


Defensive Driving School

A defensive driving school offers the next-level training for teenage drivers and other drivers who need to know what to do under special conditions, such as driving police cars, ambulances, etc.  Parents want their children to be safe so this has become popular.


Disaster Planning and Preparation Service/Restoration Business

Disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and wildfire are recurring on a regular basis. This business offers preventive measures that might help in reducing the destruction of property or offer repair/replacement services for properties that have been impacted.   Insurance companies often hire independent companies too.


Dry Cleaning/ Laundry Business

This can be challenging and a lucrative business that usually requires fairly long hours.  You would also need training as well as various permits and licenses required to operate.


Firearms Maintenance Business

Starting a gun cleaning business might be a natural transition for veterans. More than likely, you have probably been trained how to do this during your military service, and you can add other services and sell some products.  This offers repeat business as well.


Firearms Training Instructor

This also can be a natural transition for veterans who have received firearm training. If you expertise in operating firearms you should consider turning your talent into a business.


Fitness Trainer

“Boot camps” and hardcore workouts are part of every military recruit’s training, so this is a good idea for a business for those who are fit and can train others.  We live in a society that values fitness.


Garage Door Repair Business

Garage doors are important to every homeowner, so your business can offer maintenance, repairs or replacement service.


Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA.