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Business Grants for Veterans : Part 1 of 3

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By Debbie Gregory.

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Looking for a business grant? Are you a Veteran Owned Small Business? There are quite a few grants out there that are offered by a variety of institutions.   Grants are time sensitive and are open for a specific period and then they are no longer available.  It does not make sense to list grants in this article because by the time you read this article, they may no longer be available.  However, you certainly can find them!

 

This is a three part series on Business Grants for Veterans and Part 1 will detail a few good places to find grants and other financial assistance for your Veteran Owned Small Business. Please keep in mind that just because you don’t see a specific grant or site listed within this article, there are many other grants that you can locate by performing a comprehensive search with specific criteria that applies to you.  It may take some energy, research and time to locate the right grants and financing options but consider it a treasure hunt that will always be worth it to your Veteran Owned Business.

 

The best place to begin your search for grants is the Federal Government’s database for small business grants at.Grants.gov. You should check the site often as grant opportunities begin and end frequently. Once you have found a grant (or two) that will work for your needs, you need to determine your next steps.  Grants.gov provides a very clear and specific process for applying for grants.   Below are some specific areas that will assist you on their website:

  1. Learn about grants: Their learning page includes a brief instructional video to help guide you.
  2. Check eligibility: This page will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to apply for a federal grant.
  3. Search grants: You can search for grants by keyword, opportunity number, as well as other criteria.
  4. Register: If you find a grant you would like to apply for you will need to register for an account.
  5. Apply for a grant: The apply page includes helpful videos on how to use the system to properly apply for your chosen grant.
  6. Track your application: This page gives you the ability to keep an eye on how your application is progressing.

 

If you are looking specifically for Research and Development (R&D) grants from the Federal Government, there are two other programs that you may wish to consider:

 

Even though Grants.gov is an outstanding resource to locate grants, the Federal Government is not the only place to look for grants for your Veteran Owned Small Business. Our next article in this series will cover specific state offered business grants that you should explore as well.   Stay tuned!

Guide to Veteran Business Loans

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By Debbie Gregory.

There are a number of veteran business loans available to veterans, service-disabled veterans, National Guard and Reservists, and in many cases, the wives and widows of servicemembers.

To be eligible to receive a veteran loan, the veteran must hold at least 51% ownership of the business.

Some of the programs that offer business loans specifically for veteran-owned businesses include:

Streetshares- This is an online financing marketplace built and run by veterans for veterans with small businesses. The Streetshares platform connects veteran entrepreneurs with the right investors who can provide financing for their small businesses. Streetshares has a simple application process to ensure applicants get the right investors for their businesses.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Loans- Not intended for all veterans, this SBA sponsored veteran business loan program is geared particularly toward current and veteran military reservists whose small businesses were impacted when they were called into active duty. If you are a small business owner who is in need of financing as a result of your active service, this program may be just what you need. With interest rates as low a 4%, this program just might be able to get your business up and running in no time. Their terms expand as much as 30 years, but bear in mind that you will need collateral for loans over $50,000.

Veterans Business Fund- This 501(c)(3) nonprofit is an up-and-coming resource for veterans who are seeking funding to open or expand a small business, or purchase a franchise business. The Veterans Business Fund (VBF) relies on donors to provide funding for veteran business loans at favorable terms. Veterans won’t be able to finance their business entirely through VBF, as the program will offer loans only in conjunction with the business owner’s personal equity and the participation of an outside financial institution.

SBA Express Loan Program- Not to be confused with the SBA’s Patriot Express program, which has unfortunately ended, veterans can apply to its normal Express Loan program. Authorized veteran business loans of up to $350,000 through the Express initiative have zero upfront fees.

Hivers and Strivers- This angel investment group is focused on providing early-round funding for startups run and managed by academy graduates, especially from West Point, Annapolis, the Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

As a veteran, your determination to defend our nation’s freedom will hopefully translate to success as a small business owner.

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