Despite the current dismal economic situation, there are still a variety of sources of funding for Veteran-owned small businesses or veteran entrepreneurs. After rendering their time and services for their country, veterans deserve all the help they can get to start anew with their lives upon returning home. For those who wish to transition to small business owners, there are several reliable sources of funding and other resources that cater to veterans.
With more than 30.2 million of them, small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy. In fact, small businesses account for more than 99% of all businesses in the United States. And according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), Veteran entrepreneurs account for over $1.2 trillion in annual receipts. Essentially, one in every ten businesses in the United States has ties with Veterans.
Here are 6 funding programs for Veteran Entrepreneurs to start a business:
1. SBA Express Loan Program
As the leading agency that supports small businesses, the SBA Express Loan Program can provide funding up to $350,000. It has a quick turnaround time for processing within three days. Interested veterans should submit their personal information, tax returns, bank statements and credit reports. Among the choices for loan types include the SBA 7a loan program, SBA Microloans, USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant. For more application requirements, visit the website of SBA here.
2. Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDLP)
The MREIDLP and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDPL) are funds for small businesses that need to keep up with their operating expenses when an essential employee gets called up for active duty as a military reservist. The EIDPL was added resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This loan is to provide funding for a business to pay its obligations until the release of the military reservist/employee.
Note that this loan cannot be used to pay regular debt or to expand the business. Collateral is required for loans over $50,000. You can also find more details by heding over to benefits.gov.
3. Veteran Entrepreneur Portal
The VEP aims to provide easy reference access for veterans to best practices and information in their pursuit of funding for veteran small businesses. It has a wealth of information for getting various funding programs for veterans who want to services or funding to start a small business or grow and existing small business.
4. Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program
This veteran funding program is an example of a location-specific funding program for veteran entrepreneurs. It applies to military veteran residents of Minnesota who may have been called to service or have been recently separated from service. The loan can range between $5,000 to $20,000 without interest and lasting up to 4 ½ years. Eligibility requirements and details can be found here.
The Connect2Capital resource database assists in finding funding for veteran entrepreneurs. It provides tools, guidance and resources to explore community lender programs that can provide financial backing for their undertakings. This is particularly useful for veterans that can’t acquire traditional modes of funding.
6. Government Grants for Veteran Entrepreneurs
For Veterans interested in securing business grants or other sources of non-dilutive capital to launch or grow their small businesses, there are a number of government grant programs available. The most common business grant programs include the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. You can learn more about them both at the SBIR website. You can search for all government grants available to entrepreneurs and small businesses at Grants.gov.
The Best Strategy To Follow
Veterans will get a significant boost by acquiring these small business loans that can be used for startup funding, costs or operating expenses. The best loans are still those from firms – both government and private – that are focused on the welfare of veterans. The SBA is one of the best choices for this purpose. Traditional financial institutions and venture capitalists also have their own special features for veterans as recognition for their services.
I also maintain a database of state grants for veteran entrepreneurs. Contact me today if you want to learn more about funding to help veterans start businesses or grow existing businesses.