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Veteran Starts Business with Grant

Now he wants others to take advantage of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vet Success program, as well.
A brand new business owner on Rochester's Park Avenue is making his dream come true, thanks, in part, to the U.S. Government.

A grant helped the veteran start his own store, and now - he wants to share what he's learned so others can do the same.

Kyle Banker opened this Bico Australia franchise just last month on Park Avenue.

It's a venture more than a year in the making, funded mostly by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

It all began when Banker was honorably discharged from the Navy, after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

He said "I had trouble walking, full muscle pain, joint pain, migraine headaches...They sent me home and I was looking for something to do. And because I was more than 10 percent disabled I was able to start this business with help from the Vocational Rehabilitation Program."

Veterans must meet several requirements to be eligible for the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Vet Success program.

Banker says the process was worth it. He was approved this past July and opened the business last month. The government gave Banker close to $25,000.

Banker added "Basically they bought start-up jewelry, start-up materials, start-up packages, helped remodel the store, they just did everything. Everything was taken care of."

It's an opportunity he's shared with all of his friends in the service.

"Its free money they dont have to worry about paying it back and they could be successful."

Banker hopes to capitilize on his success, and open other locations across Western New York.

For more information on the program, click here.

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