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small business aid for veterans

Small Business Aid for Entrepreneurial Veterans

Military veterans looking for small business aid will find no shortage of options, in large part because they’ve proven such a valuable and successful contingent of the business community.

The U.S. Census Bureau says 2.52 million businesses are majority-owned by veterans – about 9.1% of all U.S. businesses. That’s an impressive statistic considering that America’s 18 million veterans only make up about 5.4% of the population.

Veteran-owned small businesses span numerous industries, from professional and technical services to construction to real estate to forestry, and so much more.

If you’re a military veteran that wants to join those ranks and express your entrepreneurial spirit, several organizations want to help. The following are a number of sources of small business aid for entrepreneurial veterans.

7 Ways Veterans Can Get Small Business Aid

SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans

In addition to providing training courses and counseling through its network, the U.S. Small Business Administration has created a number of loan programs designed to make it easier for veteran entrepreneurs to achieve their vision.

The SBA Veterans Advantage Guaranteed Loans program helps provide fee relief on a number of loans. That includes zero upfront guaranty fees for all SBA loans of $150,000 or less, and SBA Express Loans. The SBA also provides fee reductions for non-SBA Express Loans of between $150,001 and $5 million, depending on the size of the loan.

To take advantage of these loans, as well as other SBA-connected financing, a small business “must be at least 51% owned and controlled by an individual or individuals” in one of several groups:

  • Honorably discharged veterans
  • Active Duty Military service members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
  • Active Reservists and/or active National Guard Members
  • Current spouse of any veteran, Active Duty service member, Reservist, National Guard member, or the widowed spouse of a service member who died while in service or as a result of a service-connected disability

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Program

The federal government aims to award at least 3% of its federal contracting dollars annually to service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business program allows service-disabled vets to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts. To qualify, your small business must be at least 51% controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans, with at least one such vet managing day-to-day operations and making long-term decisions.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The SBA also provides loans to help small businesses deal with losing essential employees to reservist call-ups.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans are provided to small businesses that are not able to fund their own recovery in the event an essential employee is brought into active duty. Terms also depend on economic injury and business interruption insurance.

Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization is a resourceful outlet for veteran entrepreneurs, offering education, training and more. But its primary goal is to connect veteran-owned businesses with contract opportunities.

The OSDBU tackles most of these goals through its Veteran Entrepreneur Portal, which teaches veterans how to start businesses, how to access funding and how to access federal procurement opportunities, among many more things.

Warrior Rising

Warrior Rising is a nonprofit that has assisted in more than 3,000 veteran-owned business projects since 2015.

The nonprofit does provide several funding opportunities, from its own grants and loans to helping veterans apply for SBA loans or introducing them to potential investors. But it also provides training through its Warrior Academy, as well as one-on-one mentoring.

Boots to Business

While Boots to Business isn’t a direct source of financial small business aid, it is a well-regarded program offered up via the SBA TAP.

The program starts with a two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course. Veterans will learn everything they need to know to start a small business, as well as what resources are available to them.

Once they’ve graduated from that course, veterans can also participate in the B2B Revenue Readiness course. This interactive virtual classroom experience teaches entrepreneurs how to take their ideas and turn them into “an executable business model.”

Hivers & Strivers

Hivers & Strivers is an angel investment group that invests exclusively in companies led by military veterans. The firm typically invests between $250,000 to $1 million in a fundraising round. And it boasts portfolio companies such as rent and security deposit insurance firm LeaseLock; speciality healthcare company VetAccel; and Streamside, which provides solutions for stream, river and pond remediation.

McManamon & Co. is an accounting, tax, fraud, forensic and consulting firm that specializes in small and midsize businesses. And among the topics our professional consulting services can tackle is finding small business aid for veterans – everything from specialized grants to SBA loans to traditional bank loans and investment opportunities.

Join the veteran-owned-business community. Call McManamon at 440.892.8900 or contact us online today!

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