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'Patriot Express' Loans Help Veterans Win Small Business Independence

The Small Business Administration ’s Patriot Express Pilot Loan Guarantee Initiative was launched shortly before the Fourth of July in 2007 and in the four years since, the program has provided more than $633 million in SBA-guaranteed loans to 7,650 veterans to start or expand their small businesses, the SBA announced June 29.

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

The program 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. The loans are available for up to $500,000.

The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including startup, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital and 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 www.sba.gov/patriotexpress.

"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 Karen Mills, the SBA administrator. "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."