LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - More than 65,000 businesses in Wisconsin are owned by veterans. Now the state of Wisconsin is working to get more people to support them.
Governor Scott Walker visited a number of businesses owned by veterans, including Ledegar Roofing in La Crosse, to announce the "Wisconsin Veteran-Owned Business" campaign.
As part of the initiative, veteran-owned businesses will be able to promote their status with a poster or sticker in their window.
A number of area veteran business owners were at today's event, including LHI founder Don Weber, who says veterans are the ideal business leaders.
"They understand what it's like to step outside their comfort zone and take risk -- and I mean risk in every sense of the word -- and expand upon what they ever thought they were capable of doing when it comes to leadership, responsibility, selflessness, and above all, courage. And that's why the men and women who are entrepreneurs who are veterans do so well and are great leaders," said Weber.
Governor Walker says supporting veterans is an idea the whole state can get behind.
"We think the general public, just like we pick cheese from Wisconsin, will want to pick to go to businesses that are veteran-owned. Not just because it's patriotic, but because of the larger context, just being excellent, being outstanding people that run outstanding organizations," said Walker.
The governor says numbers show business owners who served are more likely to hire fellow veterans, which fulfills another goal of finding work for veterans across the state.
"That's a good way of helping to grow the number of veterans who are employed, and who are not only employed, but get the services and support they need to not only have a good career but to deal with other issues that veterans sometimes have that can easily be addressed if having an employer that understands it," said Walker.
The governor's office says about 11 percent of businesses in Wisconsin are owned by veterans.
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