Veterans Day is November 11, a day to remember all of our veterans. It is a federal holiday, and there are parades and celebrations in many localities across the U.S.
For me, it’s a day to express gratitude to those who have fought to protect my freedom. As a small business owner, there are some tangible things that can be done to show this gratitude.
If you have a retail establishment, restaurant, or bar, consider offering discounts to those who can show they are now in or have been in the military. Many large companies are offering discounts or giveaways. For example, Applebee’s is offering a free meal from a limited menu. Outback Steakhouse is offering a free Bloomin’ Onion on Veterans Day and a 15% discount from November 12 through December 31. Lowe’s and Publix are offering a 10% discount. Veterans have free access to all national parks on Veterans Day.
If you need more help, consider hiring a veteran to fill your slot. Many military skills can translate into the private sector. What’s more, hiring a veteran may entitle you to claim the work opportunity tax credit (assuming the credit is extended for 2015 as expected). Find details about the WOTC from the IRS.
You can post jobs and search resumes of veterans here. You can also work with a Veterans Employment Representative from the American Job Center (the Department of Labor is a partner with this network).
Make sure to be accessible
There is an estimated 21 million veterans in the U.S., many of whom are suffering from service-related injuries. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires your business to be accessible to those with disabilities.
Even if there were no law, it makes good business sense to see that your store, office, restaurant, and website are usable by these veterans. Making changes may entitle you to tax breaks, such as the disabled access credit for small businesses and the deduction for removing architectural barriers for the handicapped. Find information from the IRS.
If you’re a veteran, I thank you for your service. If you’re a business owner, you can express your thanks to veterans on Veterans Day and throughout the year in some very tangible ways.