A new program by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission aims to recognize veteran-owned businesses operating under a TABC-issued license or permit. The Veterans Outreach Program, which began this month, honors former and current military service members who have started a TABC-licensed business while helping to ensure those business owners are able to take advantage of various state programs available to veterans.
In October, TABC leaders asked veteran license and permit holders to contact the agency to make their status known. In return, TABC will provide each licensed business with a certificate certifying it as a veteran-owned business. The first of the certificates was presented to Austin Beerworks co-owner Michael McGovern, who is a former U.S. Army artillery officer and West Point graduate.
So far, about 40 veteran-owned businesses have contacted the agency, according to TABC Executive Director A. Bentley Nettles.
“We want all our Texas veterans to know that we appreciate the service and the sacrifice they provided in the name of freedom,” Nettles said. “This is a new program, and we’re just getting started. As the Veterans Outreach Program grows, we expect to recognize hundreds, if not thousands, of veteran-owned businesses across the state.”
Future applicants for a TABC license or permit will be able to mark their veteran status on their application form. In addition to the certificates, TABC will work to ensure veterans applying for a TABC license or permit have access to other programs available for veterans, such as business franchise tax exemptions.
TABC itself employs 97 veterans at its offices across the state, including several who are currently deployed with their active-duty or National Guard units. Several other TABC employees were deployed to the Texas Gulf Coast with their military units in September to assist with the response to Hurricane Harvey. In all, military veterans make up more than 14 percent of the agency’s workforce.