When they return home, many veterans may have a great idea for starting their own company, but have a little bit of trouble in getting it off the ground because of the high cost that occasionally comes with trying to obtain a small business loan. Now, though, the U.S. Small Business Administration is working to make it a little easier for service members to get this kind of financing as affordably as possible.
Through the SBA's Express Loan Program – which grants entrepreneurs financing worth as much as $350,000 – the government agency is now working to ease the difficulties that other would-be or current owners might have in receiving approval, according to a report from the SBA. Of all the loans granted to veterans through the SBA, about 73 percent go through this program in particular, and as such it is now waiving the up-front fees applicants previously had to face, beginning on January 1, 2014 and will last for a number of months, through the end of the 2014 fiscal year.
"Our nation's veterans are highly-skilled and highly-trained leaders in their communities," said Jeanne Hulit, acting SBA administrator. "This initiative will set fees to zero for SBA Express loans to veterans up to $350,000, and is part of SBA's broader efforts to make sure that veterans have the tools they need to start and grow a business. As we honor our veterans and thank them for their service and sacrifice, let's continue to identify ways to support them when they come home."
In all, the SBA granted some 3,100 veteran-owned businesses more than $1.86 billion in financing during the 2013 fiscal year, the report said. That comes in addition to its other services, including business counseling, training, and both capital and business development assistance through government contracts that the agency helped these companies to obtain over the course of the year.
Veterans who want to further ensure that their companies are going to be in as strong a financial position as possible may want to think about the ways in which they can reduce costs by finding more affordable small business insurance options. Reducing monthly premiums for general liability insurance and other types of coverage may go a long way toward shoring up any enterprise's bottom line, because it can save thousands of dollars or more per year.