May 2021

Greetings from the North Dakota Small Business Development Network (ND SBDC, ND PTAC, and VBOC of the Dakotas)!

As we near the end of May, our network is joining the rest of the nation in recognizing and celebrating National Military Appreciation Month, honoring active and former members of the United States Armed Forces. On the behalf of our entire network, we’d like to thank both past and present service members for all that they’ve done and continue to do for our nation.

Nationally and locally, the small business community recognizes the skills and abilities that service members, veterans, and their spouses can bring to communities through entrepreneurship and small business ownership. Therefore, the Small Business Administration (SBA) partially funds organizations around the United States that are meant to specifically help those individuals navigate and thrive in the small business ecosystem. Our network houses one of these programs, the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) of the Dakotas, which serves individuals in both North and South Dakota.

VBOC of the Dakotas is a one-stop shop for service members, veterans, and military spouses looking to start, purchase, or grow a business. Located nationwide, VBOCs provide training workshops, including Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot Programs, as well as business development assistance such as training, advising and mentoring, and resource referrals. Wendy Klug, Program Director, and Liza Clough, Outreach Specialist, work day-in and day-out with clients to assist in their business success.

Fargo, INC!, a local business magazine in Fargo, ND, highlighted veteran and service member-owned businesses and business services available to them, including VBOC of the Dakotas, in their most recent issue. Editor of Fargo, INC! Brady Drake interviewed veterans for the piece, asking about both their business and military ventures. Our network has been honored to work with many of the spotlighted individuals. Find the full spread here.

Who we’ve been lucky enough to partner with:

  • Julie Saatoff, Gulf War Veteran. Owner of Rocket Dogs K-9 Aquatics and Wellness Center in Fargo.
  • Brea Binstock, National Guard. Co-founder of Lovely Lash Company in West Fargo.
    • Brea and her husband’s, National Guard service member Eric Binstock, story on pages 46-51
  • Lila Teunissen, Army National Guard; Michelle Thomsen, Army National Guard. Co-owners of Bed N Biscuit Ranch.
  • Joe Fluge, Air Force and Air National Guard. Owner of Sheyenne River Kennels/Urban K-9/K-9 Crew.
  • Terrance Sando, Air Force and Air National Guard. Managing Partner in Goose River Brewing LLC.
  • Jim Letzring, Army National Guard. Owner of Blitzkrieg Blasting, LLC.
  • Keith Homstad, Army/National Guard. Owner of Alloy Engineering, LLC.
  • Heather Krause, Owner of Art by Heather.
  • Courtney Ripoll-McBride, Air Force. Owner of Ripollsworkshop, LLC.

The men and women featured by Fargo, INC! are truly heroic, both in terms of service to their country and business prowess. We thank them for all that they’ve done for their country and local communities through both their military service and their dedication to business.

If you know a service member, veteran, or military spouse who is looking to start or grow their business, let them know we are here to help! Contact VBOC of the Dakotas here.

Thank you,

Tiffany Ford, State Director
And all the Staff of the ND Small Business Development Network

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