Patriot Express Loans from the SBA
Small Business Loan Guaranty for Veterans and their Spouses
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced their Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative for veterans, members of the military community and their spouses who want to start or expand a small business and need small business loans to do so.
Who's Eligible for Patriot Express Small Business Loans?
Patriot Express small business loans are offered to military community members, including:
- Service-disabled veterans
- Active-duty service members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program
- Reservists and National Guard members
- Current spouses of any of the above
- The widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability
What Type of Small Business Loans are They?
Remember, the SBA doesn't lend money. It guarantees repayment of small business loans, which frees up funds that small businesses might not otherwise qualify for through normal lending channels. The Patriot Express small business loans fall within the SBA's Basic 7(a) Loan Guaranty program. These are the primary SBA loans that the SBA offers. Money secured through Basic 7(a) SBA loans can be used for a variety of business purposes including funding for working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and buildings, tenant improvements under lease agreements, and, under special conditions, refinancing prior debt.
What Size Small Business Loans are Offered?
The new Patriot Express small business loans are offered through SBA’s network of participating lenders nationwide. Loans are available up to $500,000 and qualify for SBA’s maximum loan guaranty of up to 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less and up to 75 percent for loans over $150,000 up to $500,000.
For small business loans above $350,000, lenders are required to take all available collateral.
What Kind of Interest Rates Apply to these Loans?
Patriot Express small business loans feature SBA’s lowest interest rates for business loans, generally 2.25 percent to 4.75 percent over prime depending upon the size and maturity of the loan.
Does the Patriot Express Program have any End Date?
The Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative will operate through December 31, 2010, after which the SBA says it will evaluate its performance and make a decision whether to modify and/or continue the initiative.
Where Can I Apply for a Patriot Express Loan?
Local SBA district offices have a listing of lenders who offer Patriot Express small business loans in their areas.
What Else is Featured in this SBA Loan Program?
The SBA will allow revolving lines of credit under the Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative.
The Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative will adopt many of the streamlined documentation and expedited processes and procedures of SBA’s SBAExpress small business loan program, meaning that it will provide the fastest turnaround time for approvals of these types of small business loans.
The SBA and its resource partners are focusing additional efforts on counseling and training to supplement the small business loan program.
SCORE (an SBA partner) provides free online business counseling from retired executives who have expertise in supporting veteran entrepreneurs. They provide business advice to the military community 24/7 with a promised 48-hour response time. SCORE counseling for veterans is available at: www.score.org/veteran.html.
What Other Services Does the SBA Provide to Members of the Military?
In addition to the small business loans under its Patriot Express initiative, the SBA has veterans’ business development officers in district offices in every state that provide military community members full access to the SBA’s range of programs and services. There are also five Veterans Business Outreach Centers located in: Albany, NY, Pittsburgh, PA, Lynn Haven, FL, Edinburg, TX and Sacramento, CA.
For those who are already small business owners and who expect call-up to active military duty, the SBA and its resource partners can assist with:
- Preparing their small businesses before deployment
- Managing their small businesses
- Selling goods and services to the government
- Obtaining other SBA financing and financial assistance
- Obtaining Military Reserve Economic Injury Disaster Loans (MREIDL) loans of up to $1.5 million for small businesses that sustain economic injury because an owner or essential employee has been called to active duty as a military reservist.
Where Can I Get More Information on these Small Business Loans?
Additional information on Patriot Express small business loans is available on the SBA's Website at: http://www.sba.gov/patriotexpress/index.html. You can find your local SBA District Office by using the tool at http://www.sba.gov/localresources/index.html