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      Growing Veteran-owned Businesses and Creating Jobs for All Minnesotans

      Posted on July 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      A veteran uses a job fair to help find a job.
      Minnesota is veteran friendly, with roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses.

      Minnesota is home to almost 400,000 veterans and roughly 600 veteran-owned businesses. A few years ago, Minnesota implemented a veteran-owned business preference for state contracting http://www.dot.state.mn.us/civilrights/veterans.html. The preference allowed these businesses to be more competitive when bidding on state contracts – helping veterans transition to civilian life and attract more retiring service members to our state.

      The change has made Minnesota more veteran friendly and helped small businesses to grow in our state. Minnesota also has a similar preference for minority and women-owned businesses. The preference works by giving firms owned by disadvantaged groups a small boost during the bidding process.

      The contracting preference is making a difference too. Even though Minnesota has a relatively small veteran population, we have the 5th most veteran-owned businesses per capita. To build on this past success, Governor Dayton and the DFL legislature passed a new law – allowing local governments to also use a veteran-owned business preference for their contracts as well.

      With 87 counties and 854 cities in Minnesota this new preference is sure to have an impact. As our state’s economy continues to strengthen, supporting veteran-owned businesses will help create new jobs for all Minnesotans.