New initiative from the Small Business Administration benefits veterans


By Debbie Gregory.

The Small Business Administration (SBA)  is stepping up to provide veterans financing for both new veteran-owned small businesses and the expansion of existing businesses. The SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative program will provide loans totaling $475 million over the life of the program. More than 120 banks across the United States will be helping to deliver on the SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative.

At a ceremony to announce the national SBA Veterans Pledge Initiative, Small Business Administration Director Karen Mills challenged banks to increase SBA-backed loans to small business owners who are veterans.

KeyBank, a regional bank headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is pledging to increase SBA Loans to veteran-owned small businesses. KeyBank,  the 19th largest bank in the United States,  is pledging to increase SBA-backed loans to small business owners who are veterans.

If you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran in need of veteran financing, the SBA has resources to help you start and/or grow your small business. From creating a business plan to finding your first customer, they’re here to help you succeed.

The SBA “Operation Boots to Business” program is partnered with the Veterans Pledge Initiative. Operation Boots to Business trains veterans in business entrepreneurship.  In 2012, KeyBank made 52 loans totaling $21 million to veterans financing small business loans.

The SBA stands behind veterans in search of small business loans. Instead of offering its own business loan guaranty program, the Department of Veterans Affairs currently cites the SBA loan program as a helpful resource for veterans seeking to expand or start a new small business. The Department of Veterans Affairs is dedicated to assisting veteran entrepreneurs, and guarantees SBA Business loans.

If you are looking to start or expand an existing business and need veteran financing, the new SBA Veteran Pledge Initiative improves your chances of obtaining a veteran finance loan. SBA partner banks will increase their lending to veterans by five percent each year, for the next five years. Bank of America, Wells Fargo and TD Bank are among those who have taken the pledge.