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Clerk's 'Thank-A-Vet' Discount Card Program signs-on 500th business

by jmaloni

Taken from the Sept. 13 Dispatch

Thu, Sep 19th 2013 04:55 pm

Industry leader will also offer job and business opportunities to veterans

When Chris Jacobs took office as Erie County Clerk last year, he inherited a veterans program in name only. The discount program had but 27 participating businesses and very few veterans were issued the complimentary card.

"I pledged to make this program a real benefit to the over 60,000 veterans in Erie County and vowed to have 250 businesses signed-on by the end of my first term in office," Jacobs said. He has doubled his goal, recently hitting the 500th mark of participating Erie County businesses offering discounts to enrolled veterans.

The "Thank-A-Vet" program's newest participating merchant is also the 500th business Jacobs has lured to offer service discounts, as well as possible job and business opportunities. Fantastic Sams is one of the country's largest hair salon franchises and offers an industry-leading business model to those interested in a new career, including veterans.

"Fantastic Sams Hair Salons are proud to support our local veterans and are pleased to partner with the Clerk's 'Thank-A-Vet' program by offering discounts on haircuts, color, styles, and products for military men and women as a thank you for defending our freedom," said Ellen Levine, Fantastic Sams WNY market manager. "All area salons are independently owned and operated by local franchisees who have extended discounts to active, retired, and reserve personnel in all branches of the U.S. armed forces."

"For veterans looking for business or entrepreneurial opportunities, the national office also offers franchise sales incentives to those who purchase Fantastic Sams Hair Salons. We are honored to offer this incentive for our veterans' service, dedication, and commitment to our country," Levine said.

Levine invites veterans to read additional information about Western New York's 18 Fantastic Sams Hair Salons at www.buffalo.FantasticSams.com.

 To show his added appreciation to all "Thank-A-Vet" participants, local franchise owner Mike Baer will offer a 20 percent discount at his four area Fantastic Sams Hair Salons and extend his generous discount to area police and firefighters.

"My father and both grandfathers proudly served our country and fought to protect the freedoms we all enjoy today," Baer said. "The sacrifices made by them and all our veterans afforded me the opportunity to open my own business, and I am truly grateful."

"Raising awareness of this program in the business and veteran communities has been a major mission of my administration," Jacobs said. "We view the opportunity to provide this benefit to veterans as a great honor." Jacobs has partnered with nearly every local Chamber of Commerce around the county to spread the word to the business community and has conducted numerous outreach events throughout Erie County in order to make the program accessible for veterans to receive the discount card.

The Erie County Clerk's Office is charged by state law to keep an original copy of military discharge papers of Erie County veterans. "The Clerk's 'Thank-A-Vet' Discount Card Program is a way to encourage veterans to place a copy of their discharge papers on file in our office, while receiving discounts on everything from a cup of coffee to home appliances," said Jacobs.

The free discount card is available to any honorably discharged Erie County veteran by coming to the Clerk's Office located in Old County Hall, 92 Franklin St., Buffalo. Veterans must bring their original discharge papers with them so that they can be scanned and placed on permanent record.

For complete information on the "Thank-A-Vet" Discount Card Program or to enroll as a participating merchant, call 716-858-4737 or visit www.erie.gov/clerk/thankavet.

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