Graham has big dreams of small businesses for veterans

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Local veterans got a chance to jump start their dreams Wednesday night.

Representative Gwen Graham hosted a veteran's small business workshop with the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

It was in Gulf Coast State College's Advanced Technology Center, home to the college's hub for technology and entrepreneurship.

For a few hours, experts counseled local veterans on how to develop their business plan, seek out financing options and were introduced to local resources.

One local veteran says he's looking for funding options.

"I hope I'll be able to make enough of a connection enough of a decision whether I'm gonna try to go back into it or not," Adolfo Guzman, who once owned his own small transport business, said. "And see what sort of connections for funding. Funding is the main key."

Graham said she hoped to help bring many working parts together and alleviate some of the challenges veterans face in opening small businesses.

"Many of the organizations here today will work with veterans and help them more fully flesh out what's possible in their business plan so the lenders will see it as an opportunity to provide the resources," Graham said.

Graham said she has hosted one other similar event in the eastern part of her district. While she has no concrete plans for another event, she said she hoped to be able to do more. She also encouraged people to support veteran owned businesses in their community.