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Small businesses signal support for service members

When members of the National Guard or Reserve need to leave their jobs for training or a deployment, businesses with only a handful of employees acutely feel the absence.

But about 200 small businesses demonstrated they were in the service members’ corner. They signed statements of support at a Friday ceremony at Canalside, organized by the Small Business Administration’s Buffalo district office and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy of the New York National Guard expressed his thanks.

Beyond the symbolism, the employers’ cooperation is essential to the service members, the economy, and the nation’s defense, said Dennis Lutz, the ESGR’s state chairman.

“Over half our forces are in the reserve components,” Lutz said. “Without support from all business, we don’t have reserves. And without reserves, you have a drafted military. They all kind of work.”

Small businesses’ support matters a lot, since they account for so many of the economy’s jobs, he said.

“We’ve got the military coming back, a lot them have to adjust,” said Franklin J. Sciortino, the SBA Buffalo office district director. “We figured this was a way for getting small businesses to pledge to help any veteran that comes back, any members of the Guard, any members of the Reserve.”