Nearly a quarter of newly discharged veterans consider starting their own businesses. Now, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has unveiled a new program called Patriot Express that offers a wide variety of assistance to veterans interested in setting up or expanding their own small businesses. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson praises the SBA venture that will make business ownership easier for veterans. “America’s veterans are a great resource for the private sector,” says Nicholson. “I commend Administrator Steve Preston of the Small Business Administration for his initiative in helping veterans transition back into the private sector.”
What are the benefits?
Assistance under the new SBA program for veterans ranges from help with writing a business plan and managing a business to obtaining financing and learning how to export goods. Participants may also qualify for loans between 2.25 percent and 4.75 percent over the prime interest rate.
Patriot Express loans are open to veterans, reservists, National Guard members, current spouses of eligible personnel, the surviving spouses of service members who died on active duty or spouses of veterans who died from a service-related disability.
Secretary Nicholson chairs a presidential task force on the needs of returning veterans that recommended the expansion of veteran eligibility for the new SBA Patriot Express program. Nicholson delivered the panel’s report to the White House on April 23.
For more information about the SBA patriot express program, visit http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress.