Fall 2008 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

By Kryn P. Westhoven, NJDMAVA/PA

In the spring of this year the U.S. Small Business Administration created the Patriot Express Loan Program. It could be a lower cost ticket for veterans to start their own small business or expand a current enterprise.

The pilot program is a streamlined loan product based on the SBA Express Program, but with enhanced guarantees and interest rates around four percent over the prime rate.

“After they have served their country so proudly, many veterans find themselves looking at entrepreneurship as a career option, when they leave the military,” said James A. Kocsi, SBA New Jersey District Director recently in the Small Biz Journal produced by the office in Newark.

Patriot Express is available to a wide range of 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 above, and the widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service, or of a service-connected disability.

The Patriot Express loan is offered by SBA’s network of participating lenders and features SBA’s fastest turnaround time for loan approvals. Loans are available 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 over $150,000 up to $500,000.

The following Web sites will help veterans and the military community with the programs and services available to them.
Patriot Express Loan Program: www.sba.gov/patriotexpress/index.html
Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan:
SBA’s New Jersey District office:
SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives):
New Jersey Small Business Development Centers: www.njsbdc.com
NJAWBO Women’s Business Center:

The loan program can be used for most business start-ups or expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real-estate purchases. The Patriot Express loan program also has a revolving line of credit feature for those current veteran entrepreneurs.

“It’s no secret that more than 14 percent of businesses in America are owned by veterans, and SBA is proud that we guarantee more than $1 billion annually in loans for veteranowned businesses,” added Kocsi. “Veteran-owned businesses make significant contributions to the economy and because of the unique technical and leadership skills they acquire through military service, they can become successful entrepreneurs.”

The Patriot Express program follows a year after the SBA worked to secure preferential pricing terms on traditional SBA guaranteed loans for vets. To date, 16 lenders have joined ranks with the Veteran Incentive Program to voluntarily provide these incentives to encourage business ownership and expansion.

“The combination of Patriot Express and the Veteran Incentive Program give us the necessary tools to serve our military community,” noted Kosci. “We want our veterans and the military community to know that there are several tools available to them when they do decide to start or expand their small businesses.”

To learn more about Patriot Express and the Veteran Incentive Program, please contact SBA’s Assistant District Director for Lender Relations, William C. Boone, at (973) 645-2179 or via e-mail at william.boone@sba.gov.

Loan aids employers

There is another SBA program designed to support business that are suffering due to the loss of a vital employee who serves in the National Guard or Reserves.

The purpose of the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is to provide funds to small businesses to meet ordinary operating costs that it could have met, but is unable to meet, because an essential employee was “calledup” to active duty in their role as a military reservist.

This Loan is intended only to provide a small business with the amount of working capital needed to pay its obligations as they mature until the business returns to normal after the essential employee is released from active military duty.

The filing period begins on the date the essential employee is ordered to active duty and 90 days after the employee is discharged or released from active duty.