After serving their country, many veterans come home looking to open and run their own businesses. A 2012 U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Business Owners found that there are 2.52 million veteran-owned businesses in the U.S. Considering this study was conducted in 2012 and released in 2015, this number has most likely grown over the past few years.
There are a number of resources available to our military service members including small business loan programs for veterans, educational workshops, mentorships, and training. These programs are great tools to not only help veterans get small business loans but to help them build their businesses.
Loan programs for veterans and their families
The SBA offers two veteran-specific programs that help veterans get a small business loan.
- SBA Veterans Advantage: This is a type of 7(a) loan, and this program offers discounts to the guarantee fees for veteran business owners on their loans. The 7(a) loan programs offer a quick turnaround with approval and funding occurring in 5-10 business days.
- The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL): If a veteran-owned business is adversely affected because the owner(s) are called to active duty, this program offers up to $2 million to help cover the expenses and the costs of running the business.
To be considered a veteran-owned business, the business must be 51% owned and managed by an active duty service member, a veteran, a widow(er) of a veteran, or spouse of a veteran.
Additional resources for veterans
The Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) is involved in all aspects of assisting veterans in opening small businesses. One organization that helps veterans gain the knowledge they need to build their business is The Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC). There are centers throughout the country offering workshops, mentorships, training, and consultations.
Other programs exist for more specific veteran groups, including the Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (WVETP), and the Service Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program (SDVETP), as well as programs that assist veterans and their families in creating their business vision and bringing it to life.
If you are a veteran looking to find funding for your small business, Growth Capital can help. Discover how the Community Advantage and SBA Veterans Advantage loan programs can help you make your business dreams a reality.
Talk to one of our lending experts today at (216) 592-2332 or visit us online.