Uncle Sam Wants YOU...to Start a Small Business!
If you’re a returning military person or a veteran of military service, there’s good news. The federal government is encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit in its military service personnel with the addition of increased small business funding. There are some 24 million Americans that are either recent or past military veterans and nearly 4 million of them are already small business owners. All of those small businesses help to build local economies. You can join the ranks once more, this time in the private sector, and take advantage of your military service to help build your small business dream.
What are the options for veteran-owned small business owners?
SBA’s office of Veteran’s Business Development
Each state has a Small business Administration Veterans Business Development Officer assigned to help veterans find the resources available for small business enterprises. Included under the VA’s umbrella, here are a few of the program’s highlights:
Patriot Express Pilot Loan
These small business loans range up to $500,000 and qualify for the SBA’s guaranty of up to 85 percent for smaller loans of up to $150,000 (up to 75 guaranty for loans larger than $150,000 to $500,000). The good thing about these loans is that they can be used for a wide range of business needs including: small business start-up costs, expansion, equipment purchases, working capital, inventory purchases or even real estate.
Eligible participants 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
Learn more at www.sba.gov/patriotexpress/index.html
Office of Veteran Affairs – Center for Veterans Enterprise
This arm of the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides outreach, counseling, entrepreneurship bootcamps, and other guidance for veterans seeking small business start-up assistance.
Afraid to start something new?
The SBA has thought of that and offers a franchising initiative for veteran entrepreneurs. Now you can buy into an existing business model through the VetFran program started by the International Franchise Association. The program provides training fees, discounted franchising fees and other incentives from over 200 participating franchisors.
If you’re a veteran and want to use your military experience to work with other government departments, you may be considering trying your hand at government contracting. The signing of Executive Order 13360 called for an increase in federal contracting and subcontracting opportunities for veteran service-disabled and veteran-owned businesses. There are specific steps you should take to become a federal contractor including a VIP verification process and application that will easily enable veteran-owned businesses for procurement opportunities. The SBA offers resources for Government Contracting including a guide and other tips.
Use your contacts
As a veteran, your biggest resource is to connect with fellow veterans who are running small businesses and finding success. There are local, state and even national meetings and conferences to network and meet with peers. The National Veterans Small Business Conference and the Veteran’s Virtual Resource Center are great places to start.
Are you a woman and a veteran?
Take a look at v-wise, a program of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. The program assists women veterans by providing the tools and training necessary to become successful entrepreneurs. V-wise is now also open to female spouses/partners of veteran business owners and has a 3-part process. In phase I, applicants take a mandatory 15-day online course that outlines the basics of entrepreneurship. Phase II is mandatory attendance at a 3-day conference called ‘Ready, Set, Goal!’ where members can take tracks specific to their areas of interest. Phase III provides ongoing mentorship and support for the budding entrepreneur to help ensure business success over the course of her business’ development, launch and operation. Access to the program and applications are available through the web site at http://www.whitman.syr.edu/VWISEApplication2/.
Whether you’re a returning veteran or served many years ago, there are numerous programs available to help you develop a small business idea into a full-blown venture. To learn more, talk with a PASBA Small Business Advisor today.
PASBA member accountants bring the collective resources of a nationwide network of Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents and other practitioners available to answer your tax and financial questions and streamline your business accounting, bookkeeping, and payroll operations. To find a trusted accountant in your area, visit www.SmallBizAccountants.com.
Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, any advice contained herein is not intended to be used, nor can it be used, for the avoidance of any tax penalty that the IRS may assess related to this matter. Any information contained in this article, whether viewed or subsequently printed, cannot be relied upon as qualified tax and accounting advice. Any information contained in this article does not fall under the guidelines of IRS Circular 230.
Copyright Information 2011 Professional Association of Small Business Accountants