Small Business Resources for Veterans
The SBA offers a variety of services to American veterans who have made or are seeking to make the transition from service member to small business owner. Each of SBA's 68 district offices throughout the country has designated a Veterans Business Development Officer to help veterans prepare, plan and succeed in entrepreneurship.
Veterans Business Outreach
The Veterans Business Outreach Center Program provides online and face-to-face entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling and mentoring to eligible veterans owning or considering starting a small business. SBDCs and SCORE also provide targeted management assistance to veterans who are current or prospective small business owners. SCORE also provides resources and counseling services online at: www.score.org.
The SBA offers special assistance for activated Reserve and National Guard members and the small businesses they work in or own. Any self-employed Reserve or Guard member with an existing SBA loan can request from their SBA lender or SBA district office, loan payment deferrals, interest rate reductions and other relief after they receive their activation orders.
The SBA offers special low-interest-rate financing to small businesses when an owner or essential employee is called to active duty. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program provides loans to eligible small businesses to cover operating costs that cannot be met due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty in the reserves or National Guard. Small businesses may apply for MREIDLs of up to $1.5 million if they have been financially impacted by the loss of an essential employee. The SBA has created a special Web page specifically for Reserve and Guard members at http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/reservists/index.html.
To ensure that veterans, service disabled veterans and Reserve and National Guard member entrepreneurs receive special consideration in all its entrepreneurial programs and resources, the SBA has established a fully staffed Office of Veterans Business Development.
OVBD develops and distributes various informational materials for entrepreneurship such as the Veterans Business Resource Guide, VETGazette, Getting Veterans Back to Work, and various other materials. Veterans may access these resources and other assistance from OVBD by visiting the Web site at: www.sba.gov/VETS/.
Patriot Express Initiative
The Patriot Express Initiative pilot loan initiative is for veterans and members of the military community wanting to establish or expand a small business.
Eligible military community members include:
- Service-disabled veterans
- Active-duty service members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program
- Reservists and National Guard members
- Current spouses of any of the above, including a service member
- Widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability
The Patriot Express loan is offered by SBA’s widest network of lenders nationwide and features our fastest turnaround time for loan approvals. Loans are available up to $500,000 and qualify for SBA’s maximum guaranty of 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less and 75 percent for loans over $150,000 up to $500,000. For loans above $350,000, lenders are required to take all available collateral.
The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied realestate purchases. Patriot Express loans feature SBA’s lowest interest rates for business loans, generally 2.25 percent to 4.75 percent over prime depending upon the size and maturity of the loan.
More information is at http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress.