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Nov 12, 2019

Texas Launches Initiative to Help Veterans Start Businesses in the Rapidly Growing Alcohol Industry

AUSTIN – A new partnership between multiple Texas state agencies will help military veterans seeking to start a business in the alcoholic beverage industry.

The Empowering Texas Veterans initiative will partner veterans who have established a business within the alcoholic beverage industry with protégés who are seeking to begin a business on their own. The mentor will advise the protégé on issues and challenges associated with establishing a new company.

"Our number-one goal with this program is to make sure there is no wrong door for veterans seeking information about breaking into the alcoholic beverage industry," TABC Executive Director Bentley Nettles said. "We are proud to work with our partner agencies to ensure eligible veterans are directed to the right people with the right answers as they take their first steps into the industry."

As the state's regulator of the alcoholic beverage industry, TABC will ensure mentors are able to assist potential business owners throughout the application process.

The first mentor-protégé pairing includes Galveston County Judge Mark Henry as mentor and Houston businessman (and Air Force Veteran) Risheem Eli Muhammad as protégé. Henry, also an Air Force Veteran, operates the Galveston Bay Beer Company in Dickinson.

Multiple Texas state agencies will assist both mentors and protégés by providing administrative support as well as information on issues such as veterans' benefits, licensing fees and more.

"Veteran owned businesses are a crucial part of Texas' vibrant and dynamic economy," said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. "This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for my office to work directly with entrepreneurs and established business owners in the veteran community to provide key information and guidance on tax related issues. We look forward to working with these driven leaders to help them navigate the process of getting a new Texas business up and running and helping them avoid the pitfalls we often see from new business owners."

The Texas Veterans Commission will also play a role in assisting prospective protégés with pre-application tasks such as developing a business plan, securing funding and meeting reporting requirements.

"Our team of veteran business consultants assisted in identifying the first veteran protégé to participate in the initiative," TVC Executive Director Thomas Palladino said. "This collaboration between TABC and the Texas Veterans Commission, along with the support of the other partnering agencies, is important to ensuring that veterans have access to the resources and tools necessary to start and grow their businesses."

The Empowering Texas Veterans initiative is a joint partnership between the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Texas Veterans Commission, the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Secretary of State and the Texas A&M McFerrin School for Entrepreneurship.

For more information about the program, visit our Information for Veterans page.

Media Contact:Chris Porter Public Information Officer (512) 206-3462