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Small Business Loans and Grants for Veterans

These four funding sources were designed specifically with veterans in mind.

Ali Hardy Jun 20, 2019

This article was originally published on June 20, 2019, and refreshed on Nov 3, 2020.

Veterans are 45% more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed, and support for veteran-owned businesses is strong among U.S. consumers, according to Ben West, director of Military Relations at Zions Bank.

“According to SBA, the general public would prefer to do business with a vet-owned business by a margin of 70 percent over a non-veteran-owned business,” West explains.

But veterans typically have a more difficult time obtaining financing than their nonveteran counterparts – and lack of education about available resources may be partly to blame.

With that in mind, following are four sources of small business loans and grants with benefits developed specifically for veterans.

Veteran Funding Source #1: SBA-backed bank loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) makes special consideration for veterans through several programs, including SBA Veterans Advantage. This loan program offers the same terms as the popular SBA 7(a) and Express loans, but with reduced or waived guarantee fees. Seek out an SBA Preferred or Approved Lender to apply for funding through these loan programs.

In addition, SBA offers the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program which provides loans of up to $2 million to cover operating costs due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty.

As a preferred SBA lender, Zions Bank’s team of experienced business bankers can help you find the right SBA loan for your vet-owned business. Apply for a Zions Bank SBA loan* online or at a local Zions Bank branch.

Veteran Funding Source #2: StreetShares

StreetShares is an online lending institution designed for veterans. They offer loans to veteran-owned small businesses, as well as a grant award program for veteran entrepreneurs through the StreetShares Foundation.

Veteran Funding Source #3: Warrior Rising

Warrior Rising is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans achieve success in business through partnerships, mentoring and economic assistance.

Veteran Funding Source #4: Hivers and Strivers Angel Investment Group

Hivers and Strivers Angel Investment Group focuses on early-stage investments to support startups founded and run by graduates of U.S. military academies.

Looking for more grant opportunities? Check out https://www.grants.gov/ to search for federal and local government grants that could benefit your veteran-owned business.

If you’re interested in learning more about resources for veteran entrepreneurs, contact your local Veterans Business Outreach Center, Veterans Business Resource CenterVetToCEO, or SCORE for business training and mentoring.

From specialized military banking services to internships and employment, Zions Bank is proud to of its track record of supporting the military community. Email Military@zionsbank.com to learn more about these services and opportunities.

* Subject to credit approval. Terms and conditions apply. See banker for details.

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