In the past five years many thousands of U.S. men and women have left their homes, their families and their careers to serve and protect our country.
Now as they return home the old job may not have the same appeal. Or they may simply be ready to transition to civilian life and the next stage of their careers.
The SBA, through nearly 800 lending institutions across the country, has developed a program to encourage and support our service men and women in their entrepreneurial dreams.
It’s called the Patriot Express Loan initiative and according to a recent press release, they have loaned over $100 million to service men and women interested in starting or expanding a business:
“In the eight months since its launch, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Patriot Express Loan Initiative has produced 1,007 SBA guaranteed loans amounting to more than $100 million, with an average loan amount of nearly $101,000, the SBA announced today.”
Who is eligible?
“Military community members including veterans, service-disabled veterans, service members leaving active duty, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, spouses of active duty members, and the widowed spouse of a service member who died during service, or of a service-connected disability.”
As with all SBA-backed loans, you make the application through an approved SBA lender, not through the SBA itself. Download the spreadsheet list of approved Patriot Express lenders.
If you or someone you know is interested in a Patriot Express Loan, recommend that they first complete the SBA Small Business Readiness Assessment tool. The Readiness Assessment tool is a self-quiz that will automatically score itself. It will also provide you with a list of of suggested next steps.
You’ll want to take the time to think through different scenarios for your business. The SBA offers tools and resources which will help with such decisions as choosing a business structure.
See also Joel Libava’s recent article: Is Franchising a Viable Option For Veterans?
This is a great opportunity available to the veterans. It’s great to hear that they have wonderful options like this when they so very much deserve it.
Thanks for posting this! A good friend of mine, after spending 4 years in, Iraq came back and was thinking about starting something. I just forward this link to him, and though he’s currently employed, is sure to find it very exciting. Thanks much!
This is one of the best uses for our tax dollars. This program will not only help our brave veterans, it will help form new businesses that generate employment opportunities for others. The leadership skills our veterans have gained will turn the $100 Million in to far greater returns for our economy.
Who better deserving than our veterans. Office Furniture said it,one of the best uses for our tax dollars that reward us all with new businesses. Way to go SBA!!!
As an American in Spirit, I want to thank the veterans for defending the freedom of the citizens of the United States of America, including the free market system.
Awesome! Veterans need and deserve the special access to money the SBA is supposedly providing. I hope this program actually comes trough for the individual veterans to provide real support when needed.
I am doing a research project on Veteran Entrepreneurs. I need both veterans and non veterans. If you would take a few minutes to fill out my survey I would greatly appreciate it.
Please follow the link below
Virginia Military Institute
Class of 2009