How to: Access Capital for Your Veteran-owned Business

It all starts with a great business idea. You’ve done the research and know this business idea could be the start of something great. But building your business requires more than a great idea and hard work – you need money. Access to capital is essential to getting your business off the ground and through the startup phase of the business lifecycle. Whether you access personal savings or receive assistance through a loan, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes that capital is a tricky topic for prospective (and current) small business owners.

There are a number of SBA resources you can take advantage of in order to access capital for your veteran-owned business.

FUN FACT: Did you know veterans typically need less than $50,000 to get started? In fact, 51% of veteran-owned businesses report using $25,000 or less in capital for startup or acquisition. (https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/435-veteran-owned-businesses-report.pdf)

Tools like SBA Lender Match walk you through the process, matching you with a lender who can answer your specific needs. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the SBA loan programs available – what it is, how much assistance you may receive, who you would receive assistance from, and what the capital should be used for:

 

WHAT AMOUNT FROM FOR
7a Loan Program Small business loans Up to

$5 million

Commercial lenders Facilities

Equipment

Inventory

Working capital

CDC/504 Loan Program Long-term loans Up to

$5 million

Certified Development Companies (CDCs) Real estate

Large equipment

Microloan Program General loans Up to $50,000 Non-profit financial institutions who also provide technical assistance Working capital
Community Advantage Loan Program General Loans Up to $250,000 Non-profit lenders Personal property (FF&E)

Working capital

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) Disaster Loans Up to

$2 million

SBA To meet necessary operating costs if a National Guard or Reserve owner or essential employee is called up to active duty

 

Bonus Tip! Qualified veterans and military members (including spouses) may receive reduced upfront guaranty fees on select SBA 7a loans. Make sure to note your veteran or military status to the lender during initial conversations.

 

  • The VET Act of 2015 (effective policy) saved veterans approximately $4.8 million in FY17. Overall, this veteran fee relief has saved veteran business owners $37 million.

Still not sure what kind of capital assistance you may need? No problem!

  1. Get in touch with a local SBA office. There are 22 Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) and SBA District Offices located across the country. From there, a business advisor can either guide you through the steps you need to take or refer you to a different qualified partner within the SBA network.
  2. Explore SBA’s online tools. There are tons of resources on the SBA website that you can access whenever, wherever. Learn how to calculate your startup costs or even how to access funding as you grow your business.
  3. Take an entrepreneurial training course. Courses like Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot provide you with an overview of business ownership – including different ways to finance your business. Even if you already own a business, you may learn a few things you may have overlooked during the early stages of business growth.

To learn more about the programs available for veterans, service members, National Guard or Reserve component members, and military spouses, visit www.sba.gov/veterans.

OSD CEO & Executive Director Glenn Banton is an appointed member of the Advisory Committee on Veteran Business Affairs (ACVBA) providing an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the SBA administrator, SBA associate administrator for the Office of Veterans Business Development, Congress, the President and other U.S. policymakers on programs affecting veteran-owned small business from all segments of American society.