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Expo In Wilmington To Connect Veterans With Franchise Opportunities

By Staff Reports, posted Mar 10, 2023
Hundreds of veterans and military spouses from all over North Carolina and neighboring military installations are expected this weekend to attend the Patriot Franchise Expo at the Wilmington Convention Center, according to a news release.

"Dozens of major franchise brands such as the Melting Pot, Snap-On Tools, Senior Helpers, and Ace Handyman Services will be on hand to explore post-military career opportunities with our nation's heroes and their spouses," said retired Marine Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel, CEO at ZeroMils, in the release. "Franchising truly enables veterans to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves".

The event takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the convention center.

In addition to showcasing franchise brands, the expo will also feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and several breakout educational sessions designed to educate veterans and help them transition to their new mission, the release stated.

​Veterans account for 14% of franchisees nationwide, according to the release, and more than 500 franchise brands offer discounts to prospective veteran candidates.

VetFran, a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association and the IFA Foundation based out of Washington D.C., will also be presenting at the expo as a Liberty Sponsor.

"VetFran will be joined by veteran-friendly lenders who can assist with startup funding, and several local Veteran non-profits will be on hand to provide valuable resources for veterans and their family members," the release stated.

"We are expecting 40 national franchise brands that represent hundreds of veteran franchisees and employ thousands of veterans and military spouses in communities nationwide," said retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stephen Davis, a senior partner with Patriot Expo and service-disabled veteran, in the release.

While the expo is veteran-centric, it is also open to the general public. There is no cost for veterans and military spouses to attend. Those interested can register online.
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