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Holiday gift guide shines light on entrepreneurial veterans

Big thanks to the VBOC for highlighting us in their Holiday Gift Guide….and making the Troy Record!

WATERVLIET, N.Y. >> Looking for a last-minute holiday gift? The Watervliet Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership has a whole list of gifts that also support local veterans.

The partnership created a Holiday Gift Guide on its website at as a way to help shoppers find just the right gift while also showing their support for veteran-owned business. From a copy of former U.S. Rep. Christopher Gibson’s book “Rally Point” — Gibson is a retired military commander — or a ride on the Spa City Brew Bus to dinner at Clark’s Steakhouse in Schuylerville or a wooden flag from Veteran Made Woodworks of Troy, the guide includes unique items and experiences provided by veteran-led business throughout the region.

“For the past three or four weeks, you’ve been getting bombarded in your email from anyplace you’ve ever shopped online with gifts for her, gifts for him, gifts for the kids, gifts for mom, gifts for dad,” explained partnership President Peter Gannon, “so we thought, we’ve worked with so many veteran-owned businesses through the Veterans Business Outreach Center, why don’t we put our own little spin on this holiday tradition.”

The partnership launched the online guide on its website about two weeks ago.

“It’s like a little nod to what we do at the Veterans Business Outreach Center, being able to showcase and highlight some of our veteran-owned companies and the clients that we’ve worked with to see their businesses grow,” said Zach Yakel, client services and project coordinator for the partnership.

Other veteran-owned businesses featured in the guide includes The Salt Den in Latham, Hot Yoga Queensbury, Big Moose Deli and Country Store in Hoosick and Hair Journeys Beauty Salon in Albany.

“I think the other cool thing about this is that almost all these [businesses] have an option for an online gift card, too, so if down the stretch here during the last couple of days [until Christmas], if people are stuck you can [do that],” said Gannon.

Organizers said their hope for the guide is that it can help veterans grow their businesses while also encouraging people to shop locally.

“The goal of the program is that we want to see every veteran entrepreneur that we speak with grow their business,” explained Yakel. “We help from inception to development and growth, so this is a great way to kind of tip our hats to the men and women who have served our country. They are now not only contributing to our local economy, but in the holiday season, you’re able to give back to our veterans.”

Organizers said the guide will be active through Christmas Day, and they intend to expand the program out in the future.

View the original article at the Troy Record »