A very popular initiative that in just three-and-a-half years has provided more than $560 million in loan guarantees to nearly 7,000 veterans to start or expand their small businesses is being renewed for three more years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are approximately one million Hispanic veterans that could benefit from this program.
Patriot Express, a streamlined pilot loan product based on the agency’s SBA Express program, offers an enhanced guaranty and interest rate on loans to small businesses owned by veterans, reservists and their spouses. Over the past two years, due in part to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, loan volume increased dramatically.
Patriot Express was launched June 28, 2007, to expand upon the more than $1 billion in loans SBA guarantees annually for veteran-owned businesses across all its loan programs. SBA 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.
Patriot Express loans are offered by SBA’s network of participating lenders nationwide and feature one of SBA’s fastest turnaround times for loan approvals. Patriot Express loans are available for up to $500,000. The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases.