Business Funding Solutions for Veterans

By: Emily Klaus | Marketing Associate

Small business loans are never an easy thing to come by. From bad personal credit to funding options that don’t meet your needs, it’s a jungle out there for those looking for working capital for their small business. It can be even harder when you’re a veteran. The good news is there are business funding solutions out there to keep your business growing.

According to a 2012 report, there are almost 2.5 million veteran-operated businesses in the United States. However, funding options for those businesses are hard to find for many reasons. Whether it was one or five years of military service, the housing, transportation and general living costs of veterans were taken care of by the government. This means that there could be years of gaps in a veteran’s financial history, making the process of getting a small business loan incredibly difficult. That’s why we’ve compiled a short list of tips to help our veterans seek the business funding solutions they need for their small business.

Common Misconceptions About Funding for Veterans

There are a lot of myths and rumors concerning funding for veteran-owned small businesses. One of the biggest misconceptions is that veterans can apply for government-issued grants. Unfortunately, those grants are specifically reserved for veterans looking to set up a not-for-profit organization. Most small businesses are for-profit, so a veteran business owner’s best bet is looking into Veterans Affairs-sponsored loans.

Another common myth is that the government will provide grants for veterans looking to launch a startup business. Fortunately, the Small Business Administration offers two programs aimed toward veterans. The Patriot Express loan is for veterans looking to expand or grow their current business, and the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program will give funding for operating expenses in the event that an employee leaves for military deployment.

Know Who and What Businesses Qualify for the Funding

One of the first things you must do when looking for veteran-specific funding is knowing if you qualify and how to verify your veteran and business status.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has a four-step process to determine if you qualify for their grant and loan programs.

    • Pre Application: Ensure all your documents and paperwork are complete to quicken your application processing time. Click HERE for links to these documents.
    • Eligibility: Any person who has served on active duty with the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard and who was discharged or released under any status other than Dishonorable are eligible. Reservists and members of the National Guard called to Federal active duty or disabled from an injury incurred or enhanced in training or while in the line of duty also qualify as a veteran.
    • Ownership: The company in question must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more veterans. In Community Property states, these veteran business owners may need to take additional measures to meet the 51 percent ownership requirement, as the company is automatically only half owned by the veteran in these states.
    • Control: One or more veterans must have the full decision-making authority of the small business in question. This includes proof of managerial experience, control over day-to-day operations, being the highest compensated person in the company and holding the highest position.

So What Are My Funding Options?

Although it seems like veteran-owned small business loans are hard to come by, there are a handful of options available.

The Veterans’ Opportunity Fund (VOF) offers venture funds up to $3 million to businesses started, owned or managed by veterans. This fund focuses on companies on the East Coast and tends to favor businesses in the tech, healthcare, business services and specialty manufacturing industries.

Another option is an angel investment group like Hivers and Strivers. This group offers start-up investments for businesses founded and run by U.S. military academy graduates, and the investment can range between $250,000 and $1 million.

Although it’s not a loan, Jet Capital  offers fast, flexible merchant cash advances for all small businesses who have a year or more of business under their belt. Upon final approval, Jet Capital could advance you up to $100,000 in as fast as the next business day*.

Jet Capital fully supports our nation’s active and retired service members. We invite all small business owners in need of fast working capital to visit localhost/JC and apply for a merchant cash advance today!

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*Assumes same-day application, submission and verification of underwriting documentation and initiation of a wire transfer before 5 p.m. Eastern Time. Upon receipt of underwriting documents and final approval, Jet Capital initiates a wire transfer which, subject to your financial institution’s processing policies, could be available as early as the following business banking day.


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