SBA Programs Offer Support for Veterans
The men and women who served in the military qualify for several programs involving low-cost health care, disabilities, housing, education and more.
Among the support for which military veterans are eligible is assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Entrepreneurs who are transitioning from military to civilian life are qualified for programs directed by the Office of Veterans Business Development, which is devoted to veterans, service-disabled veterans, reservists and active-duty service members. In some cases their dependents or survivors also can access assistance from the SBA.
SBA programs provide access to capital and preparation for small-business opportunities. They can also connect veteran small-business owners with federal procurement and commercial supply chains.
The Veterans Business Outreach Program is an initiative that oversees Veterans Business Outreach Centers across the country. This small-business program offers business plan workshops, concept assessments, mentorship and training for eligible veterans.
While there is no outreach center in the Greater Lansing region, VetBizCentral in Flint serves veterans seeking assistance in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The center is at 1401 E. Court St. in Flint. Among the programs offered by VetBizCentral are entrepreneurial training, education, mentoring, counseling and procurement.
Veterans also can utilize SBA tools like Lender Match, which connects them with lenders. Other programs include:
- SBA Veterans Advantage, which offers guarantees on loans approved to businesses that are at least 51 % owned by veterans or military spouses.
- The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program provides loans of up to $2 million to cover operating costs that cannot be met due to the loss of an essential employee called to active duty in the Reserves or National Guard.
- Boots to Business is an entrepreneurial program offered on military installations around the world and a training track of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). Boots to Business Reboot extends the entrepreneurship training offered in TAP to veterans of all eras in their communities.
- The Women Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program provides entrepreneurial training to women veterans, women service members, and women spouses of service members and veterans as they start or grow a business. SBA funds the entrepreneurship training programs available exclusively for women veterans through grantees.
- The Service Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program affords entrepreneurship training programs to service-disabled veteran entrepreneurs who aspire to be small-business owners or currently own a small business. SBA funds entrepreneurship training programs for service-disabled veterans through grantees.
- The Veteran Federal Procurement Entrepreneurship Training Program delivers entrepreneurship training to veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses nationwide interested in pursuing, or are already engaged in federal procurement.
- The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Concern Program gives procuring agencies the authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses. Sole source awards will be delivered if certain conditions are met.
Veterans and dependents can find out more about these programs by visiting the SBA website at sba.gov/.