SBA promotes Patriot Express loans for military members

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy Administrator Jovita Carranza, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) and SBA Maryland-area District Director Stephen Umberger spoke at an American Legion in Frederick, Md., today, promoting the SBA's Patriot Express loans for military members who want to start or grow small businesses.

Launched June 28, 2007, Patriot Express builds on the more than $1 billion in loans SBA guarantees annually for veteran-owned businesses, and the counseling assistance and procurement support SBA provides each year to more than 100,000 veterans, service-disabled veterans, and Guard and Reserve members. SBA's Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative helps veterans and their spouses start or expand small businesses. Currently, SBA has approved more than 1,850 loan guarantees for more than $181 million at an average loan amount of $98,000.

"SBA is committed to helping America's service members and commends them for all they have sacrificed for our country," Carranza says. "Veterans tend to have the characteristics necessary for small business success: courage, discipline and a strong work ethic. We believe that Patriot Express, supported by SBA's other services, goes directly to the needs of these American patriots who wish to start or expand businesses, and create jobs and growth."

Patriot Express loans can be used for various business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases. The loans feature SBA's fastest turnaround time for loan approvals and offer SBA's lowest interest rates for business loans—generally 2.25 percent to 4.75 percent over Prime, depending upon the size and maturity of the loan.

Loans are available for up to $500,000 and qualify for SBA's maximum guaranty of up to 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less and up to 75 percent for loans between $150,000 and $500,000. For loans above $350,000, lenders are required to take all available collateral.

Patriot Express is available to military community members, including veterans, service-disabled veterans, active-duty service members participating in the military’s Transition Assistance Program, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the previously mentioned groups, and the widowed spouses of service members or veterans who died during service or from a service-connected disability.

Current small-business owners who expect call-up can receive assistance from SBA with regard to preparing their businesses before deployment, managing their businesses, selling goods and services to the government, obtaining other SBA financing and financial assistance and obtaining loans for economic injury—Military Reserve Economic Injury Disaster Loans. If a small business sustains an economic injury because an owner or essential employee has been called to active duty, loans of up to $2 million are available.

For more information about SBA's Patriot Express, visit

Date : 8/20/2008