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Veterans Investment Zone

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Veterans Are Getting Down to Business in Cape Coral

Cape Coral is proud to be chosen as the home to the Lee County VA Health Care Center, servicing the region’s population of 202,000 military veterans, in addition to the new Cape Coral Army Reserve Center.

These two regional destinations form the nucleus of the Cape Coral Veterans Investment Zone (VIZ)—a corridor of economic development in Cape Coral that also includes Diplomat Commerce Park, Patriot Plaza and Hope Hospice. This is a vibrant village for the community, patients, staff and visitors. The goal of the Cape Coral VIZ is to develop a campus of symbiotic businesses in an array of compatible fields and industries. Whether you choose to locate your business in the VIZ or elsewhere in the city, and you are a military veteran, explore these options for bolstering your enterprise.

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Veterans Business Development
To ensure that veterans, service-disabled veterans, Reserve and National Guard members, and their survivors or dependents receive special consideration in all its entrepreneurial programs and resources, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has established an Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). The OVBD develops and distributes key informational materials.
 
SBA’s OVBD is the liaison with the veterans’ business community for: policy analysis and reporting; for acting as an ombudsman for veterans in SBA programs; for providing business training, counseling and assistance; and for overseeing federal procurement programs. For information or assistance: U.S. SBA Vets or (202) 205-6773.

Florida Veterans Business Outreach Center
The Florida Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) provides online and face-to-face entrepreneurial development services for veterans and reservists, such as business training, counseling and mentoring, pre-business plan workshops, feasibility analysis, and referrals to additional resources.  VBOC

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
SCORE is free business mentoring service that is a resource partner with the U.S. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). It provides targeted management assistance to veterans who are current or prospective small business owners. OVBO also partners with the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans With Disabilities at Florida State University to prepare service-disabled veterans for business ownership. SCORE

Lee County Veterans Services
The Lee County Veterans Services Office offers many services and encourages veterans to make an appointment to discuss any concerns. Lee County Veterans Services

Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation
This Cape Coral-based nonprofit was founded on the premise of “veterans helping other veterans in need.” The group is made up of veterans and civilians who volunteer their help, provide counseling and referrals, and offer job counseling, benefit assistance and guidance for veterans starting their own businesses. Invest in America Foundation

Lee County VA Healthcare Center
Operated by the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, this 220,000-square-foot center located in Cape Coral officially opened in December 2012. Services include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT); physical therapy and occupational therapy; and expanded outpatient surgery services in ophthalmology, podiatry, and urology. Future surgical program expansions, as well expansions in dentistry, urgent care and women’s health, are expected in 2014.
Lee County VA Healthcare Center

Financial Aid and Education Resources

Many veterans may not be aware of the many grants, scholarships and education resources available to them. The staff at BestSchools.com put together a user-friendly financial aid and scholarship guide for current and former military service members and their spouses.  The guide features grants and scholarships directories, a GI Bill calculator and interviews with top universities that have designed programs specifically to support veteran high education.

If you or your family member is active duty, a reservist, or a retired veteran, you could qualify for some form of financial aid, from privileged federal loans to grants.

To access, the guide, visit:  http://www.onlinecolleges.net/for-students/college-guide-for-veterans/