Small Business Loans and Grants for Veterans

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

Ali Hardy Jun 20, 2019

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 Brian Garrett, 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,” Garrett 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 five 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 (MREIDL), which provides loans of up to $2 million to cover operating costs due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty. The SBA’s website offers additional resources for veterans.

As the top SBA 7(a) lender in Utah and Idaho, Zions Bank’s team of experts 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. You can check out their veteran small business resources here.

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: Veterans Business Fund

Veterans Business Fund is a nonprofit organization that assists veterans by providing them with the supplemental capital required to satisfy the equity requirements for a small business loan. 

Veteran Funding Source #5: 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 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 Center,  VetToCEO, 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. Visit a Zions Bank branch near you to learn more about these services and opportunities.

Ali Hardy is a freelance writer for Zions Bank.

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