The U.S. Small Business Administration’s NH Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year was awarded to Joshua D’Agnese, owner of The Village Gun Store in Whitefield.
D’Agnese enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school and served two deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan and over 12 years in the Infantry, most of which was with the ‘10th Mountain Division’s’ Reconnaissance Unit, until he accepted an early retirement due to service-related disabilities.
Being a native of NH, he decided to settle in Dalton with his young family. When he learned that The Village Gun Store was for sale, he reached out to the NH Small Business Development Center (NH-SBDC) and connected with business advisor Stewart Gates. With the help of the SBDC, D’Agnese began the process of purchasing an established business. In 2015, he secured financing with an SBA Guaranteed Community Advantage Loan with Northern Community Investment Corporation (NCIC).
Growing up as the son of a gun dealer, D'Agnese says he was familiar with the firearm industry. So he combined old and new ways of doing business. Over the past five years, he and his wife have maintained The Village Gun Store’s inventory, improved displays, added new products, and grown online sales. The business remains focused on selling firearms and accessories to the local community including hunters, target shooters, law enforcement officers, military personnel, collectors, and those seeking personal protection. Looking ahead, D’Agnese is optimistic that The Village Gun Store will continue to thrive. He intends to keep making improvements and adding services like issuing hunting, fishing, and snowmobile licenses.
D’Agnese and SBA NH other award winners will be honored at an annual celebration sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration – NH District Office and the NH Banker’s Association on Tuesday, May 21 at the Derryfield Country Club in Manchester. Visit nhbankers.com for more information and online registration.