Score with Webster's program for veterans
The SBA has made it a top priority to help veterans finance or start a new business. In June of 2007, they created the popular SBA Patriot Express Loan Program, which has now been replaced with the “Veteran’s Advantage Loan Program.”
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This loan program, known as the “GI BILL” for businesses, has a maximum loan amount of up to $350,000. It is available to all honorably discharged veterans from active duty, National Guard or Reserves. It’s also open to existing service members whose service requirements have ended and are transitioning out of the military. Even spouses of veterans are eligible for this program.
The SBA does require the veteran to own at least 51% of the business. A DD214 --- essentially a one-page record of the veteran’s military record— is the only service-related document that is required. Veteran’s can download a DD214 here.
How can you use the funds?
Loan proceeds can be used as a line of credit, a term loan or an owner-occupied commercial mortgage. As a veteran, you can buy a business, finance working capital in a line of credit, buy machinery and equipment, buy inventory, or as mentioned above, start a new business.
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Skills to pay the bills
With the large number of service members returning from both Iraq and Afghanistan, the Veterans Advantage Loan Program can be a great resource for veterans and a wonderful way to help with job creation.
The US Department of Labor has reported 12% of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are unemployed. Many veterans have valuable skills and knowledge that are transferable to the civilian world and some will create new opportunities for themselves that may require financing. Their potential success as business owners and entrepreneurs can be attributed to the leadership and management skills they acquired during their active duty and reserve service.
Did you know?
According to a recent study commissioned by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, veterans in the private-sector workforce are roughly 45% more likely than those without active-duty military experience to be self-employed,
Plus, one in seven veterans are already self-employed or small business owners, according to the SBA. And about 25% of veterans say they are interested in starting or buying their own business.
Many banks offer SBA Veterans Advantage loans, but it is important to work with a bank that has experience with this program. Knowing the requirements and paperwork can help get a decision as quickly as possible. Experienced lenders will also guide and recommend the correct loan.
Dawn Morris, Webster's Chief Marketing Officer, a West Point graduate and a veteran herself, observes, "Veterans' contributions to our nation don't end when they leave active duty. Veterans are much more likely than the average person to be self-employed or start a new business. SBA loan programs together with the expertise provided by a Webster banker provide a good way for veterans to get their business dreams off to a flying start."
Some of our bankers have served in the military and understand how difficult the transition to the business world can be. We want you to know that we are always here to help and want you to succeed in every way possible.
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