The U.S. Small Business Administration Has A Program For You!
by Herb Lawrence, ASU Small Business and Technology Development Center
While I was attending a 60 Day Reintegration Event at the Arkansas State University Student Center last Saturday for about 300 returning National Guardsmen and their families from the 1036th Route Clearance Company just back from Afghanistan, I had several ask about funding to start a business and thought it would make a good blog article. So if you are a military veteran or family member of a veteran, in business or considering starting a business and need to look for outside funding the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Patriot Express program may be one you should look into.
The SBA has good news for military veterans looking for financing options for business loans. The SBA’s Patriot Express Loan Initiative has been renewed for 3 more years just in time for the New Year. This guaranty loan program focuses on increasing funding opportunities for Vets and Military Community. The quote below from the SBA’s recent press release pretty much spells out how this program works.
“WASHINGTON – A very popular initiative that in just three-and-a-half years has provided more than $560 million in loan guarantees to nearly 7,000 veterans to start or expand their small businesses is being renewed for three more years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Patriot Express, a streamlined pilot loan product based on the agency’s SBA Express program, offers an enhanced guaranty and interest rate on loans to small businesses owned by veterans, reservists and their spouses. Over the past two years, due in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, loan volume increased dramatically.
“America’s veterans have the leadership skills and experience to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “The impact of this program over the last three-and-a-half years has meant thousands of veterans and their families have had the resources to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs, and at the same time create jobs and drive economic growth at a critical time for our country. Renewing it means we can continue to fulfill our sacred commitment to the men and women who serve our country by giving them every opportunity for success.”
Patriot Express was launched June 28, 2007, to expand upon the more than $1 billion in loans SBA guarantees annually for veteran-owned businesses across all its loan programs. SBA also offers counseling assistance and procurement support each year to more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard and their spouses.
Patriot Express loans are offered by SBA’s network of participating lenders nationwide and feature one of SBA’s fastest turnaround times for loan approvals. Patriot Express loans are available for up to $500,000.
The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases. Local SBA district offices can provide lists of Patriot Express lenders in their areas. Details on the initiative can be found at. http:// www.sba.gov/patriotexpress.
To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, please visit the website at www.sba.gov/vets.”
- Lender uses their own loan forms (minimal SBA application paperwork)
- Lender makes approval decision with confirmation by SBA
- Lender receives full guaranty on Patriot Express of 75 or 85% not the usual SBAExpress guaranty of only 50%
- Proceeds can include use as Revolving Line of Credit (not allowed in standard SBA loan programs)
- Loan approval generally within 48 hours
- ONLY available at approved EXPRESS lenders and there are only a handful of banks in the state that have been approved as Express lenders. This means the odds are that the bank you currently use is NOT an SBA Express lender.
For Arkansas military veterans needing funding for a business venture the SBA’s Patriot Express Loan program is definitely an option they should look into as long as they understand that they must meet normal approval criteria (although collateral is not as critical since the lender has the guaranty) and the lender is an approved SBAExpress lender. At the ASU SBTDC, our consultants have assisted hundreds of small businesses obtain funding using SBA loan programs including the Patriot Express program. Our assistance in loan packaging, like all of our consulting services is free of charge and completely confidential. If you would like more information about the Patriot Loan Program, additional veteran related funding assistance, other SBA guaranty loan programs or lending in general contact the ASU SBTDC Lead Consultant (870)972-3517, e-mail us firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the comment box below.
I would also suggest anyone interested in government assistance small business loan programs attend our next Business Finance Options seminar. For more details about the Business Financing Options seminar and other workshops see our ASU SBTDC Seminar Schedule and register or contact our consultants.