Veterans help fuel American small businesses. However, they face significant challenges that can make it more difficult to grow their businesses and get financing. Here we’ll share options for veteran business owners to get the help and funding they need to start and grow their businesses.
First, a few important observations, according to SCORE’s report, The Megaphone on Mainstreet: Unsung Entrepreneurs:
- Veterans represent 9.1% of all American small businesses and generate $1 trillion annually in receipts.
- Veterans are 35.4% more likely to start their businesses to supplement their primary income.
- They are 23.3% more concerned than non-veterans about financing.
- Nearly 42% of the veteran business owners surveyed have a service-related disability. Many note the obstacles they face due to disability or bias.
One bright spot? That same report found that online lenders approved veterans’ requests for funding twice as often as non-veterans.
Qualifications for Veteran Business Loans and Grants
Generally, to qualify for small business loans or other government opportunities for military veterans, you must fall into one of the following categories:
- Honorably discharged veterans (some grants may specify a particular conflict or time period, e.g. post-9/11 era)
- Service-disabled veterans
- Active duty military service member participating in the military’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
- Reservists and National Guard members; or
- Current spouse of any veteran, active duty service member, or any reservist or National Guard member; or widowed spouse of a service member who died while in service or of a service-connected disability
Small Business Loans for Veterans
The good news is that there are several financing programs available, both geared toward veterans and others generally available to small business owners.
An SBA loan should be on your list of loan options to consider for your veteran-owned business. These loans carry attractive rates and terms for those who qualify.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is not a lender (with the exception of SBA Disaster Loans), but instead guarantees loans made by participating lenders, such as banks and non-profit Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
If you’ve seen the term “VA SBA loan,” you may think that the VA makes SBA loans, but it does not. In fact, there is no VA SBA loan program. In the past, there was a program specifically for veteran entrepreneurs called the Patriot Express Pilot Program. However, that program was discontinued on December 31, 2013. It provided loans of up to $500,000 to veterans and their spouses.
There are a number of SBA loan programs that are available to all qualifying small business owners—including veterans—and there are some special breaks on fees for veteran business owners. The main SBA loan programs are:
- SBA 7(a) loans
- SBA Express loans
- 504 CDC loans
- SBA Microloans
These loans can be used for working capital, business expenses, and real estate purchases. You’ll find a complete guide to SBA loans here.
You may have heard of the SBA Veterans Advantage program. In 2014, the Obama Administration waived the up-front, one-time loan guaranty fee for veteran loans under the SBA Express program (loans up to $350,000) from January 1, 2014, through the end of fiscal year 2015. This program was known as Veteran’s Advantage. While that program expired, subsequent legislation provided fee relief for veteran-owned businesses. Most recently, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) essentially permanently dropped that fee for SBA Express loans to zero. This benefit makes these loans even more attractive for qualified borrowers.
If you are interested in SBA loans, you’ll need to work with a lender that is approved by the SBA to make them. Keep in mind that while lenders must ensure these loans meet the SBA’s minimum requirements they may also have their own requirements, as long as they don’t discriminate against borrowers on a prohibited basis. That means you may have to shop around a bit to find the right SBA lender to work with.
Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL)
The Military Reservist Loan program falls under the SBA’s disaster loan umbrella, so these loans are made by the SBA. With MREIDL, if an essential employee has been called to active duty, a small business may qualify for one of these loans for up to $2 million. (The SBA will calculate the loan amount based on economic injury.) These are low-rate loans with terms of up to 30 years.
Funds from this loan program can be used to “provide the amount of working capital needed by a small business to pay its necessary obligations as they mature until operations return to normal after the essential employee is released from active military duty.” Learn more and apply at SBA.gov.
Hivers and Strivers Angel Fund & Veteran Capital for Veterans
Veterans looking for investment capital, rather than a loan, should check out the Hivers and Strivers Angel Fund. It has invested solely in businesses led by veterans and many of the entrepreneurs they have funded are service academy graduates. Moving forward, Venture Capital for Veterans will continue to invest in businesses led by those who have served in America’s Armed Forces so that’s where you will go to apply.
Investments range from $200,000 to $500,000. Among the requirements, your business must be beyond the concept stage, positioned for significant growth, and be led by a veteran
Does the VA Offer Small Business Loans?
While you might think that the Office of Veteran Affairs might offer small business loans to vets, that’s not the case. You’re better off looking into one of the loans mentioned above or one of the other options below.
4 Other Financing Options for Veteran-Owned Businesses
As we mentioned earlier, you will want to cast a wide net when looking for small business financing. In addition to SBA loans, consider these options:
1. Business Credit Cards
Business credit cards can be an appealing option for startups as well as more established businesses that want the flexibility of a credit line they can tap when needed. The Megaphone on Main Street report cited earlier found that Veteran owners are more likely to tap business credit cards at a rate that is 26.3% greater than non-veterans.
Crowdfunding lets you raise money online from backers who are interested in supporting small businesses. There are several types of crowdfunding available, including:
- Rewards-based: You offer a tangible reward for those who contribute to your campaign
- Equity-based: You give others the opportunity to invest in your company, often by offering shares in your company.
- Lending-based: You borrow money that will be repaid back.
- Donor-based: You solicit donations from those who want to support your business.
Finding the right platform and crafting an effective campaign takes work, but the fact that you have served in the U.S. military may be appealing to some backers on these platforms.
If your business needs a smaller amount of funding (usually $50,000 or less) you may be able to get a microloan through one of many Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) or other nonprofit organizations. The SBA also has a microloan program, where the average loan amount is about $14,000.
Many microlenders strive to assist traditionally disadvantaged entrepreneurs, including veterans, so you may find a warm welcome. It will take some research to find the right lender, though, as these organizations don’t typically have large marketing budgets. Learn more about how to get a microloan here.
4. Online Loans
Good news here: The Megaphone on Mainstreet report found that online lenders approved veterans’ requests for funding twice as often as non-veterans. There are many online small business lenders offering a variety of different types of financing options ranging from long- and short-term loans to lines of credit to equipment financing.
Small Business Grants for Veterans
Grants are coveted by small business owners because those funds don’t have to be repaid. Searching for grants can take as much work as searching for new clients or customers, however, and the outcome is never guaranteed. So while searching for small business grants for veterans may be part of your strategy to fund your business, don’t overlook other sources.
Here are several sources for veteran grants worth investigating:
This is the official site for searching for government grants. It is free to use. Federal government grant opportunities will be listed at Grants.gov. There are numerous opportunities listed so plan to take time to review grant opportunities to see whether they may apply to your business.
This site continually updates available grants, and you can search by many different criteria. You’ll want to spend time researching as many as possible to identify opportunities that may apply. There is a subscription fee to access the Grantwatch database and you can join for a short period of time to see if it’s a good fit.
The StreetShares Foundation presents the Military Entrepreneur Challenge in partnership with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. This competition will choose 8-15 finalists and then award prizes of $15,000 (first place), $6,000 (second place), and $4,000 (third place). Learn more and enter here.
Nav’s Small Business Grant
Nav understands the challenges of starting, financing, and running a small business. To give small business owners a lift, Nav offers a quarterly $10,000 small business grant. While you don’t have to be a veteran to apply, veterans have participated and been awarded grants in this competition.
Free Help For Veteran-Owned Businesses
While it may be challenging to secure free money for your business, you can get free expert help from several organizations that want to help veteran business owners succeed. Here are several you can tap:
Veteran Business Outreach Centers
A program of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.
Free services include pre-business plan workshops, business plan preparation, comprehensive feasibility analysis, entrepreneurial training and counseling, mentorship, and more. Find your VBOC here.
Launch Lab Online
Launch Lab Online is a program of Bunker Labs. It offers an all-online educational platform with a gamified, interactive way to get an entrepreneurship education—from anywhere in the world, on your time, at your own pace.
Office of Small & Disadvantaged Business Utilization
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers potential assistance to businesses owned by economically disadvantaged individuals through its Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Program. Their goal as a department is to provide these businesses with as many government contracts as possible. While these are not government grants or loans, these contracts could mean money in the bank if your business qualifies.
Be sure to register with their office. Once your business has been verified, it will be added to their directory of small businesses and could be called upon for a government contract.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much money can you get with a VA business loan?
VA loans generally refer to loans guaranteed by the Veteran’s Administration (VA). Many veterans are familiar with the VA home loan program for mortgage loans to qualifying veterans. However, there are no VA small business loans made through the Veteran’s Administration. The VA does not make or guarantee small business loans, unfortunately.
Are there grants for veterans to start a business?
The vast majority of small business grants are made to existing businesses and not to startups. To get a grant, you will generally need to have a business that is already producing a product or service to apply. As a reminder, neither the federal government nor the VA offer grants to start a business.
Can I get a veteran business loan with bad credit?
Although veteran small business owners can find financing with a less-than-perfect credit profile, expect to pay higher interest rates with shorter terms. To give you an idea of what’s available outside the SBA, here are some things to consider.
- Qualifying for a conventional bank loan will usually require a personal credit score above 680 (preferably into the 700s).
- Online lenders typically require a personal credit score of 600 or better (although some will go lower).
- Most non-traditional lenders, like online lenders, will require at least a year in business (although there are some that will accept six months), $100,000 in annual revenue, and sufficient cash flow to service debt.
- Specifically identified collateral is not a requirement for many non-traditional lenders, but they will often require a general lien and a personal guarantee.
You should expect that a strong personal and business credit profile will be necessary to get the best interest rates and most favorable terms when looking for a small business loan.
In addition to financing, with a weak credit profile, you might want to consider crowdfunding as an option if your business or product has enough appeal to attract the support of the crowd. There are crowdfunding options that don’t require a strong credit profile and are solely based on whether or not you can attract the crowd to your business idea.
VA Business Loans and Grants Summary
While funding via grants or small business loans is often top of mind for any small business owner, there are other resources that can help veterans looking to start a business or level up. Veteran-owned businesses can seek out their local Office of Veterans Business Development for various resources for veterans, including training programs for adjusting to civilian life, technical assistance, business training, and other tools that may not be available at traditional small business development centers.
They may also have more information on VA loans including VA business loans and eligibility, various grant programs, and ways to help your business dream get rolling.
If you dream of running your own business, invest time in finding out which veteran financial and small business resources can help with start-up costs and planning. See more options for Start Up Business Loans here.
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159 responses to “Small Business Loans & Grants for Veterans”
To whom this message concern I’m a retired serviceman I’m just trying to get my business up and going the buildings require some repairs I have tried several agencies I only need 20,000 dollars I have collateral in so many words I need help
If you haven’t done so already I recommend you connect with a Veteran Business Outreach Center, SBDC and/or SCORE for free assistance in starting a business. You can find your local SBA resource partner here.
I’m a 100% disabled veteran. My brother owns 10% of a successful brewery that opened up about 4yrs ago. It should be paid off in about 3-4yrs despite the pandemic. When I got off active duty I was told to just go to a doctor or the ER and the Marine Corp would cover it. Instead I started with $20k in credit card debt. I owe about $50k or more to doctors and credit cards. Im 42yrs. My house was paid off but a lean was out on it and I will owe $80k. I worked for TSA(Homeland Security) and I was forced out 9yrs ago, stuck with the surgery bills from my shoulder, elbow, hernia from throwing 100-200lb bags that didn’t have heavy stickers on them. Since turning 16yrs I always worked 50-100+ hours/week, had sometimes 4 jobs including the reserves. My body finally fell apart doing physical jobs and I was just bumped to 100% disabled after spending years trying to MRIs approved and other medical tests done. I was hit by a drunk driver running from the police, before that a guy ran a red light, an old lady pulled out in front of me before that, some stole my car before that while on the phone reporting my brother totaling my wife’s car. The doctors stopped prescribing pain meds, paying for nerves to get burned in my back every 4months, so I couldn’t do my job at TSA and was forced out. Last year my wife’s best friend was shot and killed in July 2020 in front of her daughter. I let her husband borrow my car and he did a hit and run. Then he trashed my 14yr Honda Element I bought new and only had 67k on it, maintained religiously, and destroyed the engine so I don’t have a car. The VA had just approved my VA disability before she was killed and she was in the middle of a divorce. Her dad’s friend was stalking her so we helped her out with money instead of paying the bills since she had two kids and a granddaughter. Her mom kicked her daughter out of the house illegally after she died and gave her to her dad to spite both of them is what she said. She euthanized her dog after walked her 4-5x/day for 5 weeks. My best friend from middle school had just hung himself the previous year so with Covid I went into a deep depression. No one wants to hire a cripple. I need a grant or help paying off these doctor bills/credit cards so I can try and open a business with my brother bc no one but family will work with someone who isn’t reliable everyday. If I get a regular job my injuries are to bad to work full time on a schedule and I need family who can pick up the slack so I’m not tied to a schedule with doctor bills and days I can’t work. I have been employee of the month at almost every job I have had, including getting 3x in the same month in HS as a bagger, bus boy, and a dishwasher at another restaurant. I’m not afraid of hard work. Unfortunately with these bills my credit score is a zero bc I hadn’t used it in over 7yrs but the bills are still being used against me for judgement. I have personally paid over $185k towards doctor bills even though I had at least two health insurances from 1996 to 2018. If I work the judgement will be deducted from my paycheck and if I have a checking account they will empty it. My name is on my moms $55k house so I can’t file bancruptcy either bc she’s old and a little crazy and refuses to remove it. Plus it has a lean so I couldn’t do it now. My mom can lose her house if I die so will my wife and child. I’m between a rock and hard place. My wife’s best friend is name Tonya and she was murdered in July 2020 Powell Ohio and my friends name is David Zuber. He hung himself and is from Dublin Ohio. He hung himself around our 20yr HS reunion so you can Google this to verify. With a little luck and some help we can open up another brewery of our own.
I am looking for a great for my invention
We hope the resources in this article will be helpful for your search but ultimately it’s up to you to find the right grant program. I’d recommend you investigate crowdfunding too.
The loans (yes, the SBA veterans loans and the micro loans) won’t be available for you until at a minimum, you are on your seconds year. Same with the credit cards. Best you can hope for is around 25k at 30% that you can’t actually use for anything because you have daily payments. The closest thing to a credit card you can get is the absolute least reliable, and least convenient fleet fuel cards…but those will have a daily pay off as well.
The online lender world, is possibly the sketchiest place I’ve ever been, and it seems there is always about a 33% chance the lender you’re talking too isn’t even real, and just a scammer using a name almost identical to a real lending agency. ALWAYS copy and paste their websites url through a few of the online scam checkers Available. The ones that aren’t scams, are still pretty much scams. You’ll get a fraction of what you actually need, and aside from the 25+% and a million processing fees that will come out before you get the money, you will only be able to use a tiny piece of it, if any, since you must keep the majority in your account for those daily payments. Also, that contract they will rush you though, saying you only have a matter of minutes or you’ll loose the deal, read all 7 volumes of it. They are designed to make sure you default as quickly as possible so they can pull the money back before you spend it, and then they will charge you 50-70 %, and put a lien on your business account. Assuming you didn’t accidentally sign your business away in the contract. I would recommend seeking out your local criminal organization for a more honest and comprehendible plan. Many will provide assistance with your business planning as well; after all, business is business. I read this last year as I got into my first large, over the table business, and went forth confidently with my 7-7’ credit score and dd214. Now, as in stare at my impending demise at the hands of the IRS, I can tell you that 99% of all this crap about getting funded as a small business is BS. If they say they have a special deal for you because you’re a vet, it’s a scam.
It’s clear writer just shoved a canned response out with as little effort as possible, and has definitely never started her own business.
I am sorry you didn’t find the article helpful Brandon. I thought I was fairly clear in my recommendation that veterans cast a wide net and not just look for loans and grants specifically for veterans. I agree that small business lending is challenging for startups and that borrowers have to be careful. As for online lenders, Nav partners with lenders that have been in business for many years. It sounds like your business is struggling and I’m truly sorry to hear that.
Great information. Appreciate the article.
I’m a 100% VA Disabled Veteran. My wife has a successful business and is looking at adding a piece of equipment to enhance her business. The equipment would cost approximately $30,000. Is there a grant / loan that she is able to apply for?
It is difficult to find grants specifically for equipment purchases. You can look into various grant programs – you will have to research to determine if there is a program that is a fit. You may have better luck with equipment financing or equipment leasing.
Good information. This Article helped me a lot. It provided me with direction on acquiring a VA SBA Loan or Grant.
I have an exceptional business plan and have presented to a few organizations about funding. They all, it was just one, agreed that it is extremely viable and has great potential especially in the region that I am in but my debt to income (a lot of student loans a lot) along with my income would not allow them to grant me the community based loan. The vase majority of the loan is to pay for equipment. I have been licensed and registered for over 5 years as a SRDVSB, Minority Owned and HUBZONE business. I just can’t break through this wall.
Vernon – You are certainly welcome to reach out to Nav’s Credit & Lending team to see if they have options for you. (No pressure.) Another option may be crowdfunding.
I’m a 100% disabled vet I have 5 rental properties now and looking at a strip mall that’s worth 2 million dollars, already rented bays witch i would need a loan for
Have you reached out to Nav’s Credit and Lending team to inquire about options?
The following statement in your article can be misleading and contribute to a myth I’ve often heard that one needs to be in business for three years to get an SBA loan:
“If your personal credit score is below 650, it is unlikely you will qualify for a loan, otherwise there are some additional documents you’ll need to complete you loan application in addition to your veteran-related documentation.
At least three years of business and personal tax returns”
The reality is SBA guaranteed loans are intended to help new and emerging small business, and if they are less than three years old, the SBA relies on projections, If older than three years, they will not accept projections and require three years of financials. Important to understand this.
Thanks for pointing that out Paul. Updated.
Are there truly grants available for Vets to help with a business?
Yes but grant programs change frequently, and there is more demand than supply. In addition, you shouldn’t just limit yourself to looking for grants for veterans. There may be others that may be applicable. This article may help.
I’m a 50 percent disabled vet , I’m trying to start a hot shotting trucking company , I went through a bad. Stretch few years ago and ruined my credit , I have a business plan and break down now I just need a chance to work it
I’m US Army disabled combat veteran. My credit is awful but I want to start a guitar building and repair company from my home of residence. But with my luck it probably won’t happen or my credit is so badly.
You know I’m so tired of the stress and seems as if dead ends. Reading all of this off the dribble stopped me in my tracks. But, pushing forward hopefully things will change. Credit isn’t great. I thought I can get a little bit more help advancing my small lawn care business
I am a retired veteran and starting a small restaurant and would like information on Grant’s. I also have a 90% disability rating through VA
I am A retired Vet and a 100% disable vet as well. I have a small furiture store In Weatherford TX and we rent the building from the owner which wants to sale us the building. Would I quailfy to take one of these loans? I have never done anything like this and was needing some insight.
Interesting but more fluff than info. I am a disabled vet that happens to be a minority. No idea where to look after reading this.
Mr. Johnson, Feel free to reach out to Nav’s Credit & Lending team. They will be happy to discuss your options. (It helps if you have a free Nav account but it’s not required.)
I’m trying to purchase a bar. I’m 100% disabled through the VA. What’s out there available to help me.
Patrick – We hope you’ll find the resources in this article helpful in your search but ultimately you’ll need to research the ones in the article that are of interest to see if they are a fit for your goals.
I am in the exact same boat. How to join NAV
You can sign up for a Nav account here.
So you are looking for details of different grants available for army veterans who want to establish thier own business especially in Security sector
Looking for a grant for a future security transportation company in the cannabis industry in Texas. I’m a disabled veteran who is in need of some information please.
Thanks! I needed that information
I would like to start a welding business in my Hometown. Start up cost will be minimal. I need a shop and over tools necessary to serve all of my customers, that I know I will have. Who do I talk too!
Mr. Hill – I recommend you reach out to your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. They offer free services to entrepreneurs like yourself. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
I am a 100% Service-Connected, disabled veteran and currently seeking guidance and capital to begin as an entrepreneur primarily in All Areas of Investment, Credit Services, Establishing and Maintaining Great Credit, Credit Repair Services, Etc. My primary concern as well as a summary of The Mission Statement for My Business Plan is to provide Education, Connections with appropriate resources, and Guidance to Individuals who were NEVER HELPED IN ACHIEVING THE FINANCIAL SKILLS THAT ARE SO VITAL TO A PERSON’S SUCCESS enabling them to Take Part In The American Dream of Being Successful, Proud, and Independent.
The large number of people who unfortunately meet this criteria are those Americans of Color (Black Americans) and those who were in low Socioeconomic Groups of Society
I’m a disabled vet, I lived and worked in manufacturing.
My recent though has been a Manufacuring Business
the business would veterans with the right skill or can be
trained. I was in aviation while in service, later on got
Into manufacturing and product developing.
I live in Arizona and would require sell and move to,
I’m thinking Laughlin or Bull Head City area, because
of location (Colorado River and Lake Mead). Yes the
Product floats, type of boat , lot of welding(made
Primarily of aluminum.
Are there any disabled veteran owned small business grants for existing businesses affected by COVID? Not interested in a loan…
I am a veteran seeking start up capital $30,000-50,000 for my online Amazon FBA business. The roadblocks I’m faced with are low credit scores 580 and because it would be a new business there is no business history to secure the loan. How can I get funding without the latter information?
i am the founder of Strings4vets.com we are in the process of setting up veterans with Direct to Garment printing company .. we need help in setting up the loans or grants for veterans. loan cost to set up a company for a vet is $15,000 to $25,000.. we set up the graphics for the Vet to make sure they are profitable from day one. help help please go to strings4vets.com to learn more about program
is there someone I can speak with over the phone directly instead of through texting or emails to discuss starting a nonprofit organization as a disabled veteran
Eugene – For information and help with starting a nonprofit organization, I recommend you reach out to your local Veteran’s Business Center and see whether they can provide you with some direction.
keep up the remarkable and try not to work too hard!
Hello I ‘ve been trying for years since I got out and the response was my credit rating not hood.But when I first had finished my time in service my credit wasn’t bad at all because I was young then and just released from the Army.The only thing I keep asking for is a Grant to start a business selling household and electronic goods.Just something small to start.I just want to buy in bulk and sell.Can you help me?
Hi, I am a veteran and have served 9 yrs in the Navy. I ‘d like to know if it’s possible to apply for a loan so that I can buy me a slightly used semi truck because I want to become a contractor driver.
My best advice is for you to set up a free Nav account and see what kinds of financing options are available to you. It is harder for startups to get financing but since the loan will be secured by the truck you may have options if you have good credit. Thank you for your service.
I’m 38 at 50 percent service connected I just dunno where to start to get funding, I’m a superintendent on a pipeline and a great metal fabricator , id really like to
Work for myself I seem to keep making everyone else rich , I just dunno how to get the help to get started , have 20 years to experience
I’m a disabled Veteran looking to find a Grant to help cover the costs of getting a Patent, can you help me?
Nav does not offer those services. You may want to reach out to your local Veteran Business Center or SBDC to find out about local resources. Visit SBA.gov/tools to find your local SBA resource partners.
NOT THE INFORMATION I WAS I WAS LOOKING FOR
I’m trying to find next steps for the grant described below but when I click on link it brings to a general information page. I am the service disabled Marine & founder/CEO of the IM ABLE Foundation providing adaptive equipment grants, access to fitness opportunities and provide encouraging motivational environment for all. Been in business since 2007 and always working on ways to expand our reach to service more so would love to discover how to ego about applying for grants. Thank you!
7. VA Small Business Grants
Meant for non-profit organizations, Department of Veterans Affairs Small Business Grants are aimed at helping military veterans get their operations up and running. Like any other grant money, this does not have to be repaid, but will require strict compliance on the part of your business. Be sure to review the guidelines before applying to be sure your business is in compliance.
Chris – Have you tried reaching out to your Veteran’s Business Center for assistance? The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal may provide some help as well.
I am.a vet and would like to get either a loan or a grant to start a food truck in a small town in Nebraska. I have no idea how or where to get started but have a lot of experience in corporate run restaurants but want to strike out on my own. Any help would be appreciated.
Robert – You may want to check out Nav’s recent grant winner Chow. They may be an excellent resource for you.
My work partner and I, have decided to open an elecrical company. We are both service connected Veterans and we plan to hire other Veterans once we become established. We have found a super brotherhood bond in one another that we have both expressed helps us push forward in our daily lives. Research is a constant, and the tasks are being handled equally. Our end goal is to help others like us have a more meaningful life after service.
I am interested in the grants
I have a problem, I served 45 years and I am also a disabled Veteran, I can be up and running with $750,000, and can make my own payment until then for as long as it takes, Why is it impossible to get any answers or HELP
Carl, Have you tried to get help from your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
I’m 50%VA and P&T with SSDI in my mid 50’s and I’m wanting start a restaurant in University town where I can get added to meal badges as with preferred status as a disabled veteran in SC or Ga with starting an LLC from scratch. But, my son has experience in F&B with everything lined up . I have recipes that I’ve created that Chef’s and restaurant owners have wanted the recipe. I know it can affect my SSDI income but I go to the VA for all my healthcare anyway.. I have the key staff members available, chefs, managers and my son who’s done everything in a restaurant will eventually own the place. He’s recently has gone into a restaurant to manage that was doing $7500 a week in sales to $31,000. My background is direct sales , building territory and start ups with straight commission.
I am interested in the grants, but not sure which one, I am service connected hard to find employment that lets me take breaks when im in pain. so ive decided to start my own business.
Im a honorably discharged Vet. Im interested in building and operating a bowling alley, is there a Vet organization that may be able to assist me in my quest ?
I ‘m a retired veteran with 80% disability. I just completed a series of professional mechanic and bicycle frame building courses to help me start my own business in the bicycle industry. I need financial assistance to get equipment and inventory to get started.
Retired Navy with service connected disabilities. Looking to take over a business that has been in service for 7 yrs. I’m looking for ways to obtain veteran loans/grants to purchase the business. I’ve been with company for 2+ yrs now.
I am a marine corps veteran n a Christian man that since getting out in 2003 have been looking for a piece of land that god would bless me to find I found it it is owned by a navy veteran whom is dieing from agent orange… he has a piece of land that has a self sustaining cash flow n is interested in selling it to me to accomplish the dream of housing homeless vets and getting them back to work feeling like a true member of society. I believe I can give veterans a great place to live while earning n their own way a little more money a month than they have now.
I am wanting to open my own business and have no money to start it up. I am looking for start up capital to build and supply my business. I am veteran rated at 70% through the VA. Is this something that I can get help with?
Cory – A great place for you to get started would be with the Boots to Business program. It can give you the framework for starting your business.
Hello team the information was very helpful
Please keep me updated
Anything for businesses struggling financially, refinance options, loan deferments? My current creditor for my SBA loan, Celtic Bank has become very difficult to deal with.
You know, it’s great and all that there’s services like this to help Veterans start up their businesses, but the term ‘startup” is very loose with these services. Most of these services are terms with “startup WITH 2 years in business,” or “startup WITH such and such credit.” I mean, you are aware there are Veterans who are trying their hardest from the actual “startup” stage, right? With most starting from living-on-the-street-rock-bottom and no business credit history. How does this help an honorably discharged Veteran, who’s 60% disabled, enrolled in the VR&E program AND currently attending additional workshops to find employment, while trying to get his production company business underway?
Yes, we recognize it is difficult to get true startup funds. That’s true for any business, whether veteran owned or not.
Trying to start a small landscaping business.
Thanks for sharing all this valuable information. I am a Vietnam vet with an honorable discharge.
I need a loan and or a grant for my start up business unfortunately I don’t have a 600 credit score.
Where can I get help?
I am a retired Army NurseI would like to know more about you. I never leave my SS # without knowing more about you. I am a 90% disabled Veteran. I have a medical nursing school that offers 10 fast tract certification classes. I also have been teaching Certification Nursing Assistant classes for 6 years and just added the other classes. I am also non profit. I need financial assistance with hiring a paying staff, and addition equipment.
You are more than welcome to reach out to our Credit & Lending team by phone at 844-636-2445 at your convenience. In addition, you may want to check out this article: 11 Free Programs That Help Entrepreneurs. I hope you find it helpful.
PRE-911 era veteran with zero capital and one fantastic idea for starting a small business writing mobile apps (I am a software developer). Single mother of two school age boys, receiving no child support. No family within 3000 miles (the military has a way of landing you far from home). Honorably discharged. Disabled but not service disabled. Excellent credit score but drowning in debt. I should have given up and claimed bankruptcy a long time ago. But I’ve just been too proud. I don’t fit neatly into any category. And yet, I somehow have fallen through the cracks.
I’m so sorry to hear how you’re struggling. Have you reached out for help? If not I’d encourage you talk to someone from your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. They can provide help at no cost. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find the closest services to your area. Thank you so much for your service.
I encourage all veterans to engage.
I am a Navy vet, by trade I functioned as an electrical contractor. As a 100% disabled vet,I purchased a 119 year old building downtown.The historical preservation approach goes into the design, which has been approved by the authority having jurisdiction. Now need funds to purchase materials. The town has given me until May to complete repairs, as it has been condemned. This my piece of Americana, which I encourage all voters to engage. If not us,who?
I’m a veteran at 50%. I hope for a 100 thousand buy in. Yearly gross 1.5 million.
I am running a start up family run produce stand in Loganville GA. I am a USN veteran at 30% disability with a special needs 6 year old. I can’t seem to get any help from the government and although my business is staying above water, the fall and winter are very tough in this business. We only opened in middle August and had very good profit margins for the first month and a half. The spring and summer are no problem but a grant or loan to get me through the off season may be the difference between us failing or succedding. Any assistance would truly be a blessing.
I am thankful for this information as I am veteran who is looking to start a business soon.
I have a small auto repair shop. I want to change it to a shop to teach veterans to be auto techs. I’m a honorably discharged veteran. I’ve been in business for almost 12 years now. I’ve been in auto repair for 38 years. I feel I’ll need help with workmen insurance. Is there any grant that I can apply for that will help with this venture.
Gary – Short answer is I don’t know. You’ll have to do some research to find out if there is a grant (probably local) for your business. But the fact that you have been in business for 12 years is in your favor. You may also want to check out these 11 Free Programs That Help Veteran Entrepreneurs.
I am 90% service connected. I want to start my own military surplus store. I was told to try to start small by getting a kiosk in a local mall. Is there anyway to get start up capital in the form of a grant for that and then try to venture out to a franchise of Army Navy surplus . Would grants be available for that.
Honestly I don’t know. You’ll need to do your own research to find out whether there is a grant that is a fit for your business. While you are looking I highly recommend you find a SCORE mentor or SBDC advisor who can help you for free. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
I am 100% disabled veteran. Where is a office to go talk to someone face to face. I live in Indiana.
It’s a great idea to talk with a business mentor. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area. You may also be interested in these 11 Free Programs That Help Veteran Entrepreneurs. Good luck as you grow your business!
My name is Ryan. I am a combat vet. I am going to school for gun smithing and want to use this grant money for a store front and new machines that will help me be ahead of any gun shop.
This article may help: How to Win a Business Grant
I am a 60% disabled vet and looking to go into business with an established heating and air company. The business has great potential for expansion as the only other HVAC business in the county, which had about 80 employees recently was run into the ground by new, inept management. The business I’m looking to run has about $100K income per year with only one employee. Need help with buying a bigger shop, increasing employees and equipment. I would be the program manager with day to day management decisions. Is there a program out there that can help me with the costs?
I am a veteran with no disability. I have an interest in creating my own plastic recycling business here in New York. I built my prototype of my own. I need help with funding
If you are looking for financing, Nav would be happy to help. If you are looking for business advice, I’d suggest you find a business mentor. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area. (These organizations offer free help.)
I am looking to start an out reach program non profit. For disabled veteran. I my self am 100% veteran.
To help veterans with how to get 100%.. How to interview for job.
I am here in the Houston area
I have no idea how to come up with a business plan.
My name is Arturo, I am a 30% disabled rated veteran who is a teacher of 10 years. I currently have an opportunity to be apart of an acquisition of two hotels that are cash flowing and at 67% and 72% occupancy. I want to start my business in commercial/residential business….. I have 75% financing for acquisition and 15-20% equity partner. I need assistance in closing out the remaining 5-10% equity to close and was wondering if I could use some sort of VA SBA loan to help me get rolling. My Credit scores range from 637-689 Experian and Equifax respectively…… please advise and or direct me to potential avenues as I am looking to leave the classroom and build a business that will help impact communities and help assist vets with low income housing. Thank you for the time and consideration! Have a blessed day
My name is Bobby White. I am a Navy Gulf War Veteran. I am currently not a business owner. I do have 7 different ideas for patents and production. My credit is good. I do not have any experience starting or running a business. Where would be my best starting point? I have researched patents and know the application fee can be expensive. I think i’m really looking for a financial partner to do a 60/40 split. Any ideas or suggestions.
We will be publishing a resource guide soon for organizations that help veterans start and grow small businesses. But in the meantime, I would encourage you to check out these resources: Boots to Business and your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find the latter. Thanks for your service and we hope you’re very successful!
Thank you so much for your response and advice.
I’m a 100 porcent disabled veteran and I’m interested on getting a car customs industry I have a lot of experience and I do a great job at it. I’m just trying to find out how to get a grant to start my own business please
My best suggestion for you is to find a mentor to help guide you through starting your own business. The Boots to Business offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration would be a great place to start. In addition, you can get a free SCORE mentor and get training at your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Here is the SBA local assistance locator to find a mentor. These are great programs I believe will be beneficial in many ways. You may be able to start your business without a grant, and you can find out about local grant programs through them.
And thank you so much for your service to our country.
I am a veteran and am looking to buy 2 or 3 triaxles to start my own fleet I have the work and a broker on board to keep the wheels turning I have been driving for years and would like to get my own I am tired of making other people’s dreams come true
I need to know who do and how do I get a small business loan. I am a disabled vet at 100 percent
I’m a veteran and want to start a small pressure washer business. I would like to know are they any grants that can help me. I already have a few clients but want to Establish myself more into the business world.
The best advice I can give you for building your business is to get a mentor who can help you map out a plan for expanding your business. You can get free help from your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
I am interested in finding out more about some of the grants that are available for starting up a project to help the men and women who have fallen on hard times by putting together a company that send them out around major cities ,picking up the trash that seems to be an eye sore,that never gets cleaned up.
Eldon, It’s great that you want to help the less fortunate. There may not be grants specifically for the venture you want to start. You’ll need to use the resources listed in this article to start identifying opportunities that may be a fit.
Hi! I’m a Disabled Veteran….100 percent disabled. I’m going to start a nonprofit boxing program for at risk youth and Veteran. Since I’m 100 percent disabled are there entitys out there that would help me write my business plan and obtain my 501c3? Thank you.
You can certainly try your Veteran’s Business Outreach Center (VBOC). In addition, you can get help from your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office for free. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
Want to help my daughter build a funeral business. So veterans will be able to afford a decent funeral. I am a disabled Vietnam veteran.
I’m a honorably discharged Navy veteran and I’m trying to get information on how to get a grant for a small business…
We can’t tell you specifically which grants are a fit for your business but we hope the resources we’ve shared are helpful. These articles should help as well:
How to Win a Business Grant
Small Business Grants: 24 Places for Free Money
All the Information looks good but I dis not see anything on there to help me know how do I get help.
Are you asking about how to get help finding and applying for small business grants? You may want to start by contacting your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
Am a veteran with a business one of my suppliers went bankrupt on me (Windstream) and has not paid us. I need emergency money to pay bills while I try to make up this non self imposed loss.
Just starting & trying to find out how to start with a LLC. Any grants to help with that ?
Finding a grant to start a business is challenging. It’s not impossible but you really need to have a compelling pitch that meets the needs of the grantor– why are they giving the grant? To create jobs in the area? Something else? I’d recommend you check out these related stories on the Nav blog as they may be helpful as well:
How to Win a Business Grant
Small Business Grants: 24 Places for Free Money
I am a Marine Corp Vet, Honorably discharge. I started my business almost 2 years ago, but have 2 years of income tax for the business. I need a loan or grant to expand and get more equipment, or simply just working capital. I started my business with very limited funds, and still going by the grace of God. My biggest issues is cash flow, because some invoices are paid by insurance carriers, and the process can take up to 3 to 6 months or even up to 1 year. Where can I go to get advise / financial help.
Congrats on making it to the two year mark with your business. That alone is an accomplishment! Nav is here to help you understand your financing options. We’re a marketplace, not a lender. Start by getting a free Nav account here. You’ll see financing options instantly but you are also welcome to talk with Nav’s Credit & Lending team. They can help you understand your options and figure out which ones are right for your business.
In addition, I’d suggest you check out our free eguide and webinar that will also help you understand what may be available to your business: Where’s the Money? The Top Ten Sources for Financing and How to Qualify
A service-connected disabled veteran and the caregiver of a service connected disabled veteran for many years. I have a home with land and want to create a place in which I can offer down time for caregivers whom I know need a break. Even though I had around the clock care, for my husband, I still found it difficult to leave and take a break from caring for my husband. Objective would include but not be limited to: over night stays, providing picnics, dinners, and a place in which families can enjoy carefree meals, games and treats to allow downtime. Would also provide social workers and counselors to help families understand it is best when other family members assist because one person can become burned out. Additionally, would like to provide assistance to caregivers in accessing the required care, equipment and services for their loved ones who have given so much but often times do not know where to seek assistance.
I want to start my business as a travel writer. I have a business plan, a budget plan, a target audience, a target source and (most of) my own equipment, along with writing experience. What I don’t have is $$$ to get started. I am not interested in any loans. I am an honorably discharged veteran with a 4-year degree, but I owe big on student loans. What I also don’t know is how to get started. But the big problem is having $$$. What do you suggest?
Becoming a travel writer shouldn’t require a lot of upfront money. It will take time, patience and hard work though. Tim Leffel is a highly regarded travel writer and he has a book on the topic: Travel Writing 2.0 It may be a good place to start.
I am a disabled vet, who does security on the side and I am needing a grant to purchase a ride so I can do my job. I have limited income and my credit score is poor 500 to 600. Is there any help out there.
I am a Honorably Discharged Navy vet with a service connected disability and with several disabilities.
I have a beacon score much higher
Than That is recommended.
I am already getting my business started an have several clients and a Broker that I will meet with on the 28th of March 2019. I would like to speak with someone in regards to my Business. Thank you.
Larry – Are you working with a business mentor? You can get free help from your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
I am a honorably discharged navy vet that is looking for info on starting my own business. Don’t know exactly where to start this process and who to talk to.
Jason, I’d suggest you start with your Veteran-owned Business Center, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and/or SCORE. There is a program called Boots to Business you may find particularly helpful. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area. Thanks for your service!
Seeking info on grants to develop housing for disabled and homeless veterans in Macon Georgia. I own the land.
Thanks for your question. I want to clarify that we aren’t a grant-matching service. I’d suggest you start by talking to local advisors from your SBDC and SCORE to start your search and to get advice on putting together a business plan. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find free help in your area.
I am a 100% disabled Vet, I want to start up a drive though coffee shop and was wondering if there are any programs outthere that can help me fund my project any information would be great thank you.
Joel – You’ll have to look into local economic development programs to see if there may be funds available. A place to start is with your Veteran-owned Business Center (VBOC), SCORE or SBDC. You can use the SBA local assistance locator to find a local office.
We are a service disabled vetetan owned
Company. We will start assembling Led
Lighting with our vetetan owned UL & DLC
We plan to offer our VeterNs a 3 year training
Appreciate course for assembling ,testing ,and installing LED lights .
We are looking for ideas for start up grant we need $1 million and have a business plan.
In 5 years we plan to put 50 veterans under hands on training paying them a living wage.
Disabled or handicapped welcome .
WE ARE A VEYETAN POWERED COMPANY
im looking to start my own automovitive detail shop and im 100% service connected and im still in the planning process and ill need help with start up
Looking to apply for grants for operating capital. We are a service disabled veteran owned small business.
I am a disabled veteran with a total disability rating of 100% rated as unemployable, (not able to retain gainful employment.) as it is stated under the unemployablility definition. My wife retired this year and is under 65 so all she has is her retirement from work. she stared a before and after school program to supplement her retirement, and it has taken off very well. However I have some older vehicles that we are using for the transportation part of this program, and we really need some newer equipment. The fact that this is basically a daycare type of business I was hoping we could find a way to get into some short term financing that would allow us small payments and a low interest rate. Our problem is we are overextended with our finances right now and it is hindering our expansion into this making this business impact our community as we would have hoped when starting this program. A grant would be great, but a small inexpensive loan would help tremendously, any suggestions would be helpful
I have started my own LLC, obtained my EIN and tax paperwork. I have affiliated with legalzoom to help with this process. I am currently at the “SBL” stage and was curious about grants first (for obvious reason). I have spent 10 years in the United States Marine Corps and received my honorable discharge in 2013. My business is escape rooms. I know this may seem a fad, but mine are different; I want real life scenarios, historical rooms (John F. Kennedy, MLK Jr, etc.) We will also have an escape room for kids ages 7-12 years old (these rooms will not be locked) that last 30 minutes and is school subject specific; i.e, math, science, history, hand/eye coordination, and learning to work as a team, not knowing they are working as a team.
I am 80% disabled, but does not hinder me from having a civilian job, so the VR&E business ownership track is not an option. I am currently looking into the SDVOSBP; but not sure where to go from here.
There is already a location that I am looking to purchase (prior escape room) that has all the assets, so my 100k business loan will be for assets only, not entity.
Is there anymore support or direction you can provide? I currently have a mentor from SCORE who has helped tremendously and the advice from legal counsel and accounting from legalzoom. If there is anymore data/info that someone could provide, I would be much obliged. Thanks!
It sounds like you have a solid plan and it’s great you’re working with a SCORE mentor. Do you have a Nav account? If not, I’d suggest you get a free Nav account here then schedule a time to talk with our Credit & Lending Specialists to go over your options. No pressure at all, and they can help you understand what’s available. (Nav is a marketplace, not a lender, and we help business owners find financing from a variety of sources.)
Wishing you the best for your business!
My husband has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. He has a background in electronics, manufacturing maintenance mostly in the textile field. He is a Navy vet with a hearing disability and is unable to find an job with local employers due to his hearing loss.Many have said they can not hire him due to OSHA guidelines.
Hi I’m female veteran, served in the Navy from 2003-2011, Honorably discharded and service connected disable. I would like to start my own business but I don’t know what are the steps to follow or how to go about it. I’m in New Jersey, Hudson county area to be more precise. I will appreciate any info/help you can send my way to get me started. Also, is it better to get and LLC lisence firt before applying for grants or it doesn’t matter?
I would strongly encourage you to form your business entity (LLC, for example) from the start. If you don’t, it’s impossible to really separate your business and personal finances.
But your question makes it sound like you are not quite at the state of launching your business yet. To get there, you can take advantage of free resources available through SCORE, SBDC, WOBC, and/or VOBC. These organizations all offer free or very low-cost consulting. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
Thank you for your service and we wish you the best.
My partner and I are trying to launch our IT Consulting organization. We are both service-connected disabled veterans. The company is woman owed she owns 52% of the company. For the most part we are trying to get grants or crowdfunding to launch our company. Also, we have register with S.A.M. and awaiting our CAGE code to register with SBA. We could use all the helpful advice.
Hello, I am a Service Connected Disabled Veteran, located in West-Michigan, Looking for start up capitol. I am not begging for a grant, Just looking for a way to accomplish this largest of hurdles with no success.
I have spoken with several individuals to get various perspectives and they have hall told me it is a need in every community.
I am a traditional Veteran, past deployment bills and Bad credit. What can I do?
I’d suggest you first contact your
Veteran Business Outreach Center. It’s in Flint so that may be too far for you to want to go in person, but I’d encourage you to find out what they offer. Secondly, Michigan has a great Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Nav has presented several webinars for them. I’d encourage you to reach out to them too. And finally check with your local SCORE chapter. Your goal is to connect with someone who can help you figure out how to make your business a reality. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
And thank you so much for your service.
i’am thinking about starting a small business (used cars). How do i get started? I’ve never done this before.
Since you don’t have experience in small business my suggestion is you start with your local SBDC and/or SCORE office. There you can get free help and mentoring. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
Can I get a Grant?
You’ll have to apply to get a definitive answer. But if you read each grant guidelines you should get an idea of what they are looking for. This article may help: How to Win a Business Grant
Thank you Gerri,
I have read your responses and they are very directive. My spouse and I have a small business for 3 years now and looking for grant to expand it. it is a Hair Salon
Thanks for your kind words. In addition to looking for grants I’d encourage you to investigate small business financing options as well. Grants are great but there aren’t as many available as there are financing programs.
I want to reopen my small cafe business that has been closed for two years. I am an Army Vet 1956,57,58 Hon discharge. What will I need to apply, and what is the min. loan SBA loan amount?
Charles, the SBA guarantees a variety of types of loans, including microloans. (The average microloan is about $11,000.)
There are so many different factors that go into loan approval, I’d recommend two things:
1. Read our free SCORE eguide we created with various lending options: Where’s the Money? The Top Ten Sources for Financing and How to Qualify
2. Sign up for a free Nav account then reach out to our Credit & Lending Specialists who will be happy to help you, no pressure.
3. Get help from your local SCORE chapter or SBDC office. Use the SBA local assistance locator to find help in your area.
I hope things work out for you and thank you for your service.
i am a veteran looking for a grant or loan to launch my business
We hope you found the suggestions in this article helpful. A couple of other ideas:
Nav has launched its new business grant.
Also we just published this article: How to Win a Business Grant.
My spouse is a veteran and we would like to find out about a grant and loan to open up our business . We want to start a new journey soon.
Grants are great but I’d also encourage you to get a mentor and look into ways to start your business without just relying on grant money. Meet with your local Veteran-owned Business Center, Small Business Development Center or SCORE to get ideas on how you can get started.
And feel free to check out the newest Nav small business grant!
I am a veteran with small business looking for grant money
I’d offer the same advice I shared here with Peter and Lavaris – look for grants but don’t let that stop you from starting. Free help is available through SCORE, SBDCs, VBOCs and other organizations.
I am a veteran looking for grants to help start up a franchise.
Thanks for your service. It’s going to be challenging to find a grant to purchase a franchise. Have you looked into financing?
If you are just starting out how do you have a history to show for financing?
Mike – Startup financing is more challenging to obtain. We created a video describing options that you’ll find here.