The SBA said it has launched a new initiative that aims to increase loans to veterans by $475 million over the next five years.
The Veteran Pledge Initiative involves the SBA and 20 of the country’s top national, regional and community lenders, the agency said.
The SBA said it expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans in obtaining loans to start or expand small businesses by increasing lending by $475 million over the next five years. This equals a 5% increase above historic veteran lending activity by the SBA, according to the agency.
Among those lenders making the pledge to assist is Newtek Small Business Finance, a subsidiary of Newtek Business Services Inc., which is one of CUNA Strategic Services Inc.’s strategic alliance providers.
While veterans make up a large number of successful small business owners, the SBA said they often face challenges in raising capital or have trouble receiving a conventional loan.
Nine percent of small businesses are veteran-owned, according to the SBA. These 2.45 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than five million individuals. In the private sector workforce, veterans are more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed, the agency said.
In addition to working with the country’s top 20 lenders, the SBA said approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States will also assist with the Veteran Pledge Initiative.
The initiative complements SBA’s existing partnership with the National Association of Development Companies VetLoan Advantage strategic initiative that offers small business financing discounts and training to veterans who own businesses or are interested in small business ownership, the SBA said.
“Our service men and women have made incalculable contributions and sacrifices for our country, and supporting them as they pursue their dreams to start or grow their own business is one of SBA’s highest priorities,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said.
The 20 lenders that have taken the pledge to work with the SBA on the initiative are:
- Wells Fargo Bank
- JP Morgan Chase Bank
- U.S. Bank
- Huntington National Bank
- Manufacturers and Traders Trust
- Live Oak Bank
- Newtek Small Business Finance
- Branch Banking and Trust
- TD Bank, National Association
- SunTrust Bank
- Celtic Bank
- First Bank Financial Centre
- Bank of the West
- Ridgestone Bank
- Wilshire State Bank
- BBCN Bank
- PNC Bank
- Hanmi Bank
- Open Bank