The U.S. Small Business Administration says its Patriot Express small business loan program has helped secure loans for thousands of veteran-owned small businesses.
Officials say that since the program was launched just over three years ago, more than 6,000 loans have been made – representing nearly $500 million.
“America’s veterans have the leadership skills and experience to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners,” SBA administrator Karen Mills said. “The Patriot Express initiative, in conjunction with other SBA programs, puts more capital and more tools in the hands of veterans as they grow their businesses and create the jobs America needs.”
The Patriot Express loans – which can be for up to $500,000 – are available to veterans, active personnel enrolled in the government’s Transition Assistance Program and their current spouses. The SBA says that nearly 15 percent of the loans have actually been given to the spouses of service members.
In addition to the national SBA initiative, many other states have instituted their own programs to help encourage business incorporation by veterans. For example, the state of Minnesota recently announced a new initiative that will give veterans interest-free loans to start or expand their small businesses.