On June 13, the Small Business Administration unveiled a new loan program, the Patriot Express Pilot Initiative, designed to help veterans and members of the military and their families start or expand small businesses.
Loans under the Patriot Express program can be as high as $500,000, as compared with the $350,000 ceiling on loans under the SBA Express Program. Patriot Express loans are backed by a guarantee of 85 percent up to $150,000 and 75 percent up to $500,000, compared to the normal 50 percent guarantee. Interest rates under this new program range from 2.2 percent to 4.75 percent above prime, depending on the terms of the bank.
In addition, Patriot Express loans can be processed within one day, compared with the six-day average turnaround time for traditional SBA loans.
Members of the military who are eligible for Patriot Express loans include:
- Service-disabled veterans
- Active-duty service members eligible for the military's Transition Assistance Program
- Reservists and National Guard members
- Current spouses of any of the above
- The widowed spouse of a service member or veteran who died during service or of a service-connected disability
More information on the Patriot Express Initiative can be found at the SBA Web site.