In four years the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Guarantee Initiative has provided more than $633 million in loans to 7,650 veterans to start or expand their small businesses.
Launched in June 2007, Patriot Express, a pilot loan product, offers an enhanced guarantee and interest rate on loans to small businesses owned by veterans, reservists and their spouses.
Credit unions have been among lenders participating, including Mazuma Credit Union helping finance a Quizno’s sandwich shop franchise in Kansas.
“As Independence Day arrives it is only natural for us to reflect on America’s veterans – men and women who have the leadership skills and experience to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
“The impact of this program the last four years has meant thousands of veterans and their families have had the resources to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs, and at the same time create jobs and drive economic growth at a critical time for our country,” Mills said.
The SBA said it also offers counseling assistance and procurement support each year to more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard and their spouses.