The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a variety of services available to American veterans who are looking to transition from the military to small business owner in the private sector. Each SBA office has a designated Veterans Business Development Officer. Their role is to help veterans prepare and plan for their new business venture. The Veterans Business Outreach Program provides business development training, counseling and mentoring to eligible veterans. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) provide management experience to veterans whoa re current or prospective business owners.
The Patriot Express Loan program is one of steps the SBA has taken to increase their ability to help veteran owned businesses. The following groups are eligible for the Patriot Express Program:
* Service-disabled veterans;
* Active-duty service members who are participating in the military's Transition Assistance Program;
* Members of the Nation Guard and Reserve;
* Current spouse of any veteran, (except if dishonorably discharged)
The Patriot Express Loan can be used for most business purposes. These include start-up expenses, equipment purchase, working capital and inventory. In some cases real estate purchases related to the business may also qualify. Follow this link to find out more. http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress
The SBA also offers special assistance for Reservists and National Guard soldiers who are called to active duty. Reservists and National Guard members who have an SBA loan for their business my request rate reductions and loan payment deferrals from their lender after they receive activation orders.
The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program provides low interest rate loans to eligible small businesses to cover their operating costs as a result of the loss of a key employee who is called to active duty. The SBA has set up a special web page to provide more information about this program. Click on the following link to learn more. http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/reservists/index.html
The SBA has also established the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD). The OVBD develops and distributes materials such as the Veterans Business Resource Guide, VET Gazette and Getting Veterans Back to work. These resources can be accessed on line at http://www.sba.gov/VETS
Hopefully these resources are helpful for your new business or are able to provide assistance for your existing business. Please cal or email me with any questions. Like you, I am a Veteran and would like to help you navigate your way to the right program for you. You can visit my Business Banking Blog at http://businessbanking.wordpress.com.