RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - This week is National Veteran's Business Week. There are millions of small businesses across the nation but for South Dakota in particular, small businesses seem to be the main contributor to the economy.
"Small businesses is the backbone of our economy. Actually, in South Dakota 99% of all registered businesses in the state are small businesses. So when you look at the economic impact its really not an understatement to say they really are the backbone," says U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Administrator Dan Nordberg.
10 percent of all small businesses in South Dakota are actually owned by veterans including one that's behind me, in this building, called B9 Creations. B9 Creations is a 3-D printing manufacturing business.
The company founder is a former veteran who discovered the Black Hills when he was stationed in Ellsworth Air Force Base.
He started the business in a garage about seven years ago.
Even, the company's C-E-O served in the army national guard for nine and a half years before switching hats.
"Really the military and the service members of the military are much more woven into the community than I think a lot of us realize on a day to day basis," says B9 Creations CEO Shon Anderson.
Anderson says its important to view veterans as citizens beyond their uniform. Skills like being quick on your feet, fast decision making and discipline are just some of the skills that veterans can take away from their military service and apply to their own businesses.
"In the military you may be a cook, you may work in HR, may be a Navy SEAL, each one of those things has different skill sets that actually can and should add value in the community where they live. And we got to be cognizant of what those people bring to us once they've taken off the uniform," says Anderson.
The business is expanding and is moving across town to a building off of Deadwood Avenue.