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LINC tool

By Debbie Gregory.

This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will be launching an innovative tool on its website that will allow entrepreneurs looking for a small business loan to connect directly with an SBA lender.

The tool is called LINC, short for “Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital.” By filling out a short online form, LINC connects entrepreneurs to lenders within 48 hours. The SBA hopes that through the utilization of LINC, the federal agency will be better able to provide guidance and ensure that more capital is reaching our nation’s small businesses.

“Effective today, LINC will bring entrepreneurs and SBA lenders together,” said SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet.  She continued, “There’s a hunger among entrepreneurs to find financing to get their business off the ground or take the next big step in their expansion plan. The SBA stands there ready to help them, now with a few simple clicks.”

LINC users fill out a twenty-question online form, and their answers are sent to every lender in their county, as well as lenders with a regional or national reach. Once these lenders have reviewed the information, they respond directly to the entrepreneur within 48 hours. There are no fees and no commitment associated with LINC. It is a free federal initiative offered exclusively through the SBA

Contreras-Sweet went on to say, “Across the country, thousands of small business owners pound the pavement every day, looking for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them hire and grow. If you have a bankable business idea backed by good credit and sound financial planning, the SBA wants to streamline the process for you to get the capital you need.”

It is the hope of the SBA that LINC will free entrepreneurs from feeling like their only lending option comes from one neighborhood bank. By using technology, LINC will help entrepreneurs get their foot in the door at multiple institutions, in one shot, and improve their access to the capital they need to start or maintain their small business.

Currently, there are 124 lenders across the nation participating in LINC. The SBA will look to expand into more traditional banking institutions that offer a more diverse menu of financial products.

For more information about LINC or to connect with SBA approved lenders, please visit

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: SBA Launches Program Connecting Entrepreneurs to Lenders: By Debbie Gregory

In 1546, writer, sildenafil John Heywood was credited for the phrase, viagra “Many hands make light work.” But for small businesses, especially Veteran owned small businesses, very few hands carry a majority of the load. The success or failure of a small business can easily be shaped by the presence or absence of its owner, or a key employee.

With the number of Reservists who own small businesses and have been called to active duty in support of their country, a significant number of them have seen their economic fortunes suffer as a result of their military service. But the good news is that there is relief for these entrepreneurs.

Small businesses that sustained economic losses due to their owner or a key employee being summoned to active duty can apply for a loan of up to $2 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

The SBA provides Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) to small businesses affected by the absence of a critical military employee. Applications for MREIDL loans are accepted any time from the date that the member was notified of their call-up to one year after the date of discharge or release from active duty. The loans are designed to allow eligible small business to maintain a current balance on operating expenses that the business could have covered if the business owner hadn’t been called to active duty.

The MREIDL program is managed by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. The loan is a direct working capital loan, not meant to grow or expand the recipient business, but to maintain the funding of daily operations. It also can’t be used to replace lost profits or refinance long term debt. Interest rates on MREIDL loans are at 4%. No collateral is required to secure MREIDL loans of $50, 000 or less.

Interested Reservist business owners should visit the SBA’s MREIDL portal where they can find more information, including how to apply for the loan. Reservist business owners can also call the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email the office at

SBA Patriot Express Loans Top $633 Million

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WASHINGTON – In just four years the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Guarantee Initiative has provided more than $633 million in SBA-guaranteed loans to 7, 650 veterans to start or expand their small businesses.

Patriot Express, a pilot loan product, with streamlined paperwork, and based on the agency’s SBA Express program, offers an enhanced guaranty and interest rate on loans to small businesses owned by veterans, reservists and their spouses.

“As Independence Day arrives it is only natural for us to reflect on America’s veterans – men and women who have the leadership skills and experience to become successful entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills.  “The impact of this program the last four years has meant thousands of veterans and their families have had the resources to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs, and at the same time create jobs and drive economic growth at a critical time for our country.”

Patriot Express was launched June 28, 2007, to expand upon the more than $1 billion in loans SBA guarantees annually for veteran-owned businesses across all its loan programs.  SBA also offers counseling assistance and procurement support each year to more than 200,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard and their spouses.

Patriot Express loans are offered by SBA’s network of participating lenders nationwide and feature one of SBA’s fastest turnaround times for loan approvals.  Patriot Express loans are available for up to $500,000.

The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases.  Local SBA district offices can provide lists of Patriot Express lenders in their areas.  Details on the initiative can be found at

To learn more about additional opportunities for veterans available through the SBA, please visit the website at

What information do you have on SBA loans?

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Veteran business owners and military business owners often need SBA loans to either get off the ground or to grow their businesses. SBA business loans provide businesses the chance to build larger facilities and obtain necessary equipment and machinery, among other things, by offering small business loans specifically created for smaller entities. There are different SBA loan programs to help starting and growing a business. These programs come with different SBA loan rates but they are all loans that can be used for fundamental businesses investments.

One of these SBA lending programs is the Patriot Express Loan Program, a program specifically created for SBA small business loans for veteran business owners and military business owners. The Patriot Express loans are only available to veteran business owners and military business owners, generally decreasing the competition between businesses, but competition is still high among veteran owned businesses. Eligibility for these SBA loans is only applicable through the end of December 2010. SBA business loans programs such as the Patriot Express loans are a step forward for military business owners and veteran business owners because they often have smaller SBA loan rates than other SBA lending programs.

SBA small business loans for veteran owned businesses and military owned businesses are made to meet the financial requirements for small businesses in terms of SBA loan rates and SBA lending repayment programs. SBA loans specifically created for military businesses are usually more affordable than other small business loans from other lenders. Veteran business owners can use SBA business loans to purchase a multitude of business items. These small business loans can be used toward expanding a business structure, adding an additional room or purchasing new business space altogether. The SBA small business loans are very flexible in this regard. Unlike certain other general loans or small business loans that must be put toward a specific purpose in order to be obtained, SBA business loans help businesses thrive and grow in every department.

The SBA loan programs that are offered for veteran and military businesses are created to support the growing community of military and business owners who make up about 5% of all small businesses. The Small Business Administration works to promote these businesses by offering their low SBA loan rates, specific SBA business loans created for military and veteran businesses and SBA loan programs and SBA lending services, offering flexible and helpful loans. The growth of the military and veteran business community has been largely helped by SBA small business loans and will continue to succeed with the support of SBA loans.

Contact the Small Business Administration for more information on SBA loans.

What is the Patriot Express Loan?

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The Patriot Express Loan was created by the Small Business Administration to help veterans, military members and their spouses acquire the loans necessary to begin or expand a small business. Patriot Express Loans are available to service disabled veterans and military members who meet specific eligibility requirements. Some of the requirements for a loan from the Small Business Administration include being an active-duty service member who is eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program, current veterans or service disabled veterans, spouses of military members, veterans or service disabled veterans or the widow of a service member who died during service or from a service-connected disability. Any of those qualify for eligibility for a Patriot Express Loan for the expansion or beginning of a small business.

Patriot Express Loans are under a Loan Guarantee policy from the Small Business Administration. This means that the Small Business Administration, rather than actually lending money, guarantees repayment of loans. By doing this, it allows a small business to receive much needed loans they might not otherwise be able to obtain via normal lenders. This kind of loan is the primary kind the Small Business Administration offers small business owners. Patriot Express Loans can be used for things such as purchasing equipment and machinery, real estate or facilities, funding for working capital, fixtures and furniture, refinancing loans and debt (under extremely particular occasions) and for many other necessities veterans, service disabled veterans and military members need to keep their small businesses thriving.

In order to obtain a Patriot Express Loan, you’ll have to confirm that you meet all necessary eligibility requirements. Once you have stated your eligibility, you will be able to be considered for a Patriot Express Loan.  Patriot Express Loans are available in varying amounts up to $500,000. Depending on the amount of the loan, the Small Business Administration’s maximum loan guarantee can be as high as 75 percent. Some loans have maximum guarantees as high as 85 percent.

The Patriot Express Loan program is set to expire December 31, 2010, so military members, service disabled veterans and other veterans have until then to obtain a loan through the Small Business Administration.