by Larry Stubblefield, SBA Official
It all starts with a great business idea. You’ve done the research and know this business idea could be the start of something great. But building your business requires more than a great idea and hard work – you need money.
Access to capital is essential to getting your business off the ground and through the startup phase of the business lifecycle. Whether you access personal savings or receive assistance through a loan, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes that capital is a tricky topic for prospective (and current) small business owners. There are a number of SBA resources you can take advantage of in order to access capital for your veteran-owned business.
Veterans typically need less than $50,000 to get started. In fact, 50% of veteran owned businesses report using $25,000 or less in capital for startup or acquisition. Tools like SBA Lender Match walk you through the process, matching you with a lender who can answer your specific needs. Qualified veterans and military members (including spouses) may receive reduced upfront guaranty fees on select SBA 7a loans. Make sure to note your veteran or military status to the lender during initial conversations. The VET Act of 2015 (effective policy) saved veterans approximately $4.8 million in FY17. Overall, this veteran fee relief has saved veteran business owners $37 million.
Still not sure what kind of capital assistance you may need? See the list below for additional resources.
- Get in touch with a local SBA office. There are Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs) and SBA District Offices located across the country. From there, a business advisor can either guide you through the steps you need to take or refer you to a different qualified partner within the SBA network.
- Explore SBA’s online tools. There are tons of resources on the SBA website that you can access whenever, wherever. Learn how to calculate your startup costs or even how to access funding as you grow your business.
- Take an entrepreneurial training course. Courses like Boots to Business and Boots to Business Reboot provide you with an overview of business ownership – including different ways to finance your business. Even if you already own a business, you may learn a few things you may have overlooked during the early stages of business growth.
To learn more about the programs available for veterans, service members, National Guard or Reserve component members, and military spouses, visit www.sba.gov/veterans.