NJ Small Business Development Center at Ramapo College’s Initiative Supports Veteran-Owned Businesses Through Economic Crisis

Steven Spielberg

Since the Spring of 2020, the NJ Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Ramapo College, through its Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative, has worked to help struggling small business owners navigate the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBDC’s Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative has brought together professional business management consultants and student volunteers to serve on task force teams that have assisted business owners through providing specialized aid ranging from help finding financing, conducting accounting and financial analyses, augmenting digital marketing efforts, enhancing operations, crisis planning, strategy formation, and utilizing technology.

The Finance Task Force of the Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative in particular has placed a strong focus on supporting veteran business owners persevere through the economic hardships that have faced the state since 2020. “The challenges veterans face while in business can be different,” said SBDC Regional Director Vincent Vicari, “so it is important that the right team be in place to support them.” Todd Smith, the leader of the Finance Task Force, has worked with veterans to help them acquire financing to start, grow, and adapt businesses during the pandemic. The task force has been credited with facilitating millions of dollars worth of capital infusion injections into the regional economy. Smith received the 2021 Leader in Finance Award from NJBIZ Magazine in recognition for his finance work supporting businesses.

In addition to his finance leadership, Smith is the author of several books including “I Pledge Allegiance,” a novelization of the plight of the homeless veterans in the United States. In 2021, Smith was elected to serve on the Board of Directors of Community Hope, the largest nonprofit organization in the state that works to address the homeless veteran crisis.

Each of the SBDC’s specialized task force teams are led by industry experts and work with businesses to adapt, grow, and overcome specific challenges. Ryan Greff serves as the chairman of the SBDC at Ramapo College’s Economic Recovery Task Force Initiative.

The NJSBDC at Ramapo College is a federal-state-education partnership, primarily funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, that provides no-cost business management counseling and information services to small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

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