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Minneapolis (KROC AM News) - A Rochester-area family-owned business has been recognized for its work with veterans.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has named Oronoco-based The Industry TV as the 2020 Minnesota Veteran-owned Small Business of the Year. The company provides media for deer hunting products and enthusiasts. 

According to the SBA, Marine Corps Veterans Michael and Christopher Dukart joined forces with Jeff Dukart to launch the company in 2010 to complement their first business, Illusion Systems which produces patented deer calling systems. The Industry TV hit success in 2014 with The Deer Society, an online platform for educational videos on the deer calling that resulted in the two businesses becoming a multimillion-dollar company in a few years.

“We know that entrepreneurs who combine passion for their small business with the system’s know-how that the military provides can go far,” said SBA Minnesota District Director Brian McDonald.

Starting off as garage-based businesses, the Dukart team obtained financing, including an SBA-backed loan, which allowed them to take their companies to the next level. They eventually built a new 7,500 square foot building.

“The Dukarts have demonstrated that they are not afraid of hard work and the dedication it takes to become successful, including a willingness to change with the industry and the technology of today’s society,” stated Mary Oudekerk, senior business development officer with the 504 Corporation.

As a veteran-owned small business, the team continues to give back and support fellow veterans.

Michael Dukart was concerned with the increased rate of Iraq war veteran suicides, so he sponsors a goose hunt annually for veterans, teaching them hunting techniques and providing comradery. The Dukart family has also sponsored the “Tee It Up for Troops” golf fundraiser for veterans and their families throughout the U.S., continued to help with Gold Star Families, and supports the Curtis Swenson Memorial Foundation for a fallen veteran in the Rochester Area.

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