SBA loan program available for veterans

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The SBA has a special loan program for veterans who own small businesses, the Marine Retailers Association of America notes in an advisory to its members.

Patriot Express, which launched in 2007, builds on the more than $1 billion in loans the SBA guarantees annually for veteran-owned businesses. These loans are a streamlined loan product based on the agency's SBA Express Program, but with an enhanced guaranty and interest rate.

The loans are offered by an SBA network of participating lenders nationwide and feature one of SBA's fastest turnaround times for loan approvals. Loans are available up to $500,000 and qualify for SBA's maximum guaranty of up to 90 percent.

The Patriot Express loan can be used for most business purposes, including start-up, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory or business-occupied real estate purchases. Local SBA district offices will have a listing of Patriot Express lenders.

In just two years, the Small Business Administration Patriot Express Pilot Loan initiative has supported more than $315 million loans to more than 3,750 veterans and their spouses who are using the SBA-backed loans to expand their businesses.

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