According to the U.S. Census, veterans have a track record of success as small business owners, surpassing many other groups. Veteran business owners are responsible for nearly one out of ten small businesses in the United States and employ nearly six million workers. According to a 2011 study from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy, veterans are 45% more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans. Their military experience often provides the leadership, discipline, and focus to operate a small business. Like many other entrepreneurs, however, a common challenge veterans face is capital access or obtaining conventional financing. With approximately 250,000 veterans transitioning from military service to the civilian workforce each year, many lenders are becoming more involved in assisting veteran entrepreneurs with access to capital, counseling, and contracting.
SBA, along with other agencies and trade associations, have developed veteran lending initiatives to help offset those challenges. One of these is the Veteran Pledge that is part of SBA’s Operation Boots to Business which is a multi-phased approach geared towards helping veteran transition back to civilian life as business owners. The initiative kicked off in May 2013 and is a commitment by top SBA lenders to increase their lending activity to veterans by five percent per year for the next five years. With the support of SBA’s top 20 national lending partners and approximately 100 additional regional and community lending partners across the United States, SBA expects to assist an additional 2,000 veterans obtain loans to start or expand small businesses.
NADCO, the trade association for Certified Development Companies (CDC), partnered with SBA to announce its own veteran lending initiative, called VetLoan Advantage. This initiative is designed to increase the access to government capital by encouraging CDCs to offer discounts on both commercial real estate and capital loans for their small businesses. The VetLoan Advantage program complements SBA’s efforts and encourages CDCs to develop and promote their own incentives for veterans. Caprock is a proud participant of the VetLoan Advantage program. To show our appreciation for veterans, Caprock will reduce the loan origination fee to 1% for any size loan for SBA 504 loans. The SPAG—Revolving Loan Fund will also offer a fixed interest rate of 4% for up to 10 years. We are proud to support our veterans and hope these incentives demonstrate our appreciation for the sacrifices veterans and their families have made to protect our freedom. If you would like more information on our veteran lending initiatives, please give us a call 806.762.8721.