This Veterans Day weekend, Iowa veterans are being reminded about a new program designed to provide them low-interest loans to start up or expand their small businesses. Joe Folsom, district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration in Iowa, says the program is called the Patriot Express Loan Initiative.
Folsom says, "This is a program that is designed to serve members of the veterans community to provide an opportunity for them to get the financing they need for their small businesses." The lenders are able to make loans up to $500,000 with a 75- or 85-percent guarantee from the S-B-A.
While the program has only been around four months, Folsom says ten Iowa veterans have been approved for loans through it, for nearly $700,000. He says ten’s a good number. "It is, relative to the region here in the Midwest. It’s actually higher than the other districts in our region." Folsom says, "It’s comparable to Minnesota and Illinois who have just slightly higher numbers but substantially larger numbers of veterans and small businesses."
The first of Iowa’s ten loans was awarded to a Dubuque veteran who wanted to expand his chiropractic practice. Folsom says Patriot Express is available to a host of military community members, including: veterans, service-disabled veterans, service members leaving active duty, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of any of the above, spouses of active duty members, and the widowed spouse of a service member who died during service, or of a service-connected disability. For more information, visit " www.sba.gov/patriotexpress ".