Veterans Affairs Small Business Loans & Grants
- 1 [Small Business Loan] | How Disabled Veterans Can Obtain an Small Business Loan
- 2 [Business Grants] | Veteran-Owned Business Grants
- 3 [Small Business Administration Grants] | Small Business Administration Grants
- 4 [Help] | How to Get Help for Veterans to Start a Business
The VA does not give grants or make general business loans to veterans. Both the VA and the SBA have programs providing veterans with business assistance.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs does not make general business loans to veterans. Although the Small Business Administration once offered the Patriot Express program for veterans, it expired in 2013. Neither the VA nor the SBA provides business-related individual cash grants to veterans. However, the federal government offers other kinds of business assistance to vets.
Government Assistance for Veterans
The government provides loan assistance to veterans and others related to special circumstances, such as the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which lends up to $2 million to eligible small businesses that have suffered economic injury because essential employees were called up for active military service.
The government has a portal, Grants.gov, that provides an overview of the kinds of government grants that are available.
Many nongovernmental websites purport to connect individuals with government grants. A few are legitimate, but many are not. The safest approach to learning about government grants – what they are, who is eligible and how to apply for them – is through the Grants.gov portal.
Government cash grants are generally limited to organizations, rather than individuals, and are targeted to accomplish specific government goals, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s food programs for impoverished U.S. and foreign populations.
SBA Office of Veterans Business Development
One good place to start if you’re a vet looking for help starting or expanding your business is the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development, which serves as a portal to a number of SBA, VA and nongovernmental organization programs designed to help veterans, their dependents and survivors. These programs include training, business counseling and mentorship. From the OVBD home page, you can access such government programs and agencies as:
- Boots to Business, which offers two different classroom courses to help you develop a business plan. Both the two-day and the eight-day course provide specific advice on getting your business started.
These are only three of the more than 30 agencies and programs available through the OVBD portal. Some are general programs that are available to all vets; others, like Dog Tag Bakery, are designed to help specific veteran groups.
The best place to find out about federal, state and NGO grants that veterans can apply for is the Grants. gov website. Rather than actually providing grants, the website gives information about government grants in general – what they are designed to accomplish, for example – and gives descriptions and one-click access to various grant-giving agencies. While veterans may not receive government grants directly, they may benefit from grants to organizations that provide veterans and specific groups, such as disabled veterans, with various kinds of assistance.