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Getting More SBA Loans Into the Hands of Veterans

Talking Points from the SBA

  • As we announced right before Veterans Day, starting January 1, 2014 and for the rest of the fiscal year, we'll be setting the borrower upfront guaranty fee to zero for all veteran loans approved during that timeframe under the SBA Express program, which supports loans of up to $350,000.
  • This will be available to small business owned and controlled by veterans; active-duty military participating in the Transition Assistance Program; reservists; National Guard members; or their spouses or the widowed spouses of service members or veterans who died during service or as a result of service-related disabilities.
  • Our nation's veterans are highly-skilled and highly-trained leaders in their communities, and so it makes sense that after serving their country veterans would become entrepreneurs and small business owners. Our job at the SBA is to make sure that veterans and their families have the tools and capital they need to start and grow a business.
  • Of all SBA loans that go to veteran-owned businesses, 73 percent are $350,000 and below. The SBA Express Loan Program, which supports loans up to $350,000, is SBA's most popular loan delivery method, with nearly 60 percent of all 7(a) loans over the past decade being approved through the program. Since the program's inception, it has also been one of the most popular delivery methods for getting capital into the hands of veteran-owned businesses.
  • Earlier this fall we also announced that for FY 2014, the upfront guaranty fee on all 7(a) loans of $150,000 or less will be set to zero. These initiatives make the loans cheaper for the borrower, another way SBA is looking to serve small business owners as they look for ways to access capital.
  • SBA is dedicated to helping veterans, providing them access to business counseling and training, capital and business development opportunities through government contracts. In FY 2013, SBA supported $1.86 billion in loans for 3,094 veteran-owned small businesses. And since 2009, the dollar amount of SBA lending support to veteran-owned firms has nearly doubled.
  • We strive to support veterans and members of the military in as many ways as possible. That's why SBA also supports a direct working capital loan program for small businesses with an essential employee who is a military reservist called to active duty. These Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans (MREIDL) provide funds so that these small businesses can cover operating expenses the company would have been able to cover had the essential employee not been called to active duty. This way our brave men and women in uniform don't have to choose between serving their country or growing their communities.
  • We thank our veterans and their families for their commitment to our country and way of life. SBA fully supports our veteran entrepreneurs and looks forward to continuing to reach out to them through our 68 field offices across the country.

Q and A:

Q: I heard you are getting rid of Patriot Express.

A. Patriot Express was a pilot program that will be sunsetting at the end of the year.

Q. What does this mean for lending to veterans?

A. We determined that Patriot Express did not help to significantly increase overall lending to veterans since its inception and that more lenders lent to veterans through other SBA loan programs.

Since the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative was first created in 2007, SBA has worked hard to streamline all of our lending programs, significantly enhancing, simplifying, and expediting the lending experience for both lender and borrower.

Since that time, SBA loan products have dramatically improved. We've taken the best elements of our expedited and streamlined programs, and incorporated them into our standard 7(a) program. This streamlining and simplification of the application process, in conjunction with the borrower fee being set to $0 for veteran-owned businesses, led to the determination that a separate loan program was unnecessary.

We remain committed to doing everything possible to make sure veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners have the tools and capital they need to start or grow their business and believe we are making great strides to do so.