Around the world and on our own soil, the service of veterans has done a tremendous amount for the United States. Many of these veterans choose to continue their contributions to this country by channeling their leadership and skills into entrepreneurial activities that aid in strengthening our economy.
Resources for Veteran Business Loans
Nearly half of all returning veterans from World War II went on to run or own businesses. In fact, more than ten percent of all small businesses in the nation are owned by veterans. One of the big reasons for this success is the fact that military training promotes the leadership skills, self-confidence, high-risk tolerance, discipline, and determination needed to own a business. However, business loans for veterans can be hard to come by.
Fortunately, there are numerous corporate, non-profit, and federal organizations dedicated to making business ownership a reality for those who have fought to keep our country secure. Here, we will cover some of the small business loans for veterans:
Military Economic Injury Loans
This United States Small Business Administration (SBA)-sponsored loan program is particularly geared toward veteran and current military reservists whose businesses were impacted when they were called to active duty. The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) program provides four percent interest business loans for veterans if you own an enterprise that has struggled financially as a result of your active duty services. This may help your company get back on its feet.
Within one year of being released from active duty, the loan is available to veterans and allows for terms of 30 years or less. For veteran business loans over $50,000, the program requires collateral. Only a select category of military personnel will find this loan is a right fit. The SBA is also required by law to determine if the business would not be able to recover without government intervention.
Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is a product of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and is a great starting point for veterans interested in buying a franchise or expanding or opening a small business. The VEP was created to help connect veterans with federal services for business assistance, such as government grants for veterans, franchise opportunities, business development resources, and help connecting with various government agencies that serve small business owners. Perusing the VEP is an excellent place to begin look for business loans for veterans.
Veterans Business Fund
The Veterans Business Fund is a fairly new resource for veterans who are seeking funding to purchase a franchise or who want to expand or open a business. The Veterans Business Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that relies on donors to offer loan funding for veterans with favorable terms. To the extent allowed by the law, the loans will be non-interest bearing.
Since the program only offers loans in conjunction with the participation of an outside financial institution and the business owner’s personal equity, veterans will not be able to completely finance their business through the Veterans Business Fund. Yet, you should still be well aware of this low or no interest loan resource as a potential solution for supplementing your business funding.
Veterans Business Outreach Centers
Though this is not a way to receive loans or other funding per se, you are connected with funding resources through the Veterans Business Outreach Centers, an SBA funded program that provides business development services for veterans across the nation. Benefits of the program include a business development boot camp and access to counseling and mentorship.
As a veteran, we know your determination to defend our freedom as a country will translate to a will to succeed as a business owner. We hope that these resources will assist you along the way, and if you have any other questions, we are more than happy to help as a thank you for your service.