Finally!!! Veteran-owned businesses are eligible to receive certain small business grants from the government, nonprofits, and some corporations as well. In particular, the SBA owns many programs dedicated to veteran business owners like VA SBA loans. These initiatives seek to give back to our troops for their service and dedication and to support their entrepreneurial contributions.
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Program: Similar to the 8(a) program, the SBA’s SDVOSBP isn’t a grant, but it helps veterans who own businesses get additional contracting opportunities from the government.
- Small Business Administration Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Act of 2015: The SBA’s Veteran Entrepreneurship Act removes the borrower fee on Express Loans of up to $350,000 awarded to veteran-owned businesses. Although this isn’t a grant, removing the fee make SBA loans more affordable for veterans.
- StreetShares Commander’s Call Veteran Business Award: This program rewards veterans or military spouses who run businesses with up to $15,000 in grant money.
- USDA Veteran and Minority Farmer Grant: The 2501 Program, run by the Department of Agriculture, gives small business grants—as well as education, training, outreach, and other forms of support—to veterans and minorities looking to begin or expand their agricultural operations.
- UPS Franchise Discount: While not quite a grant, this initiative gives veterans looking to join the UPS franchise a $10,000 discount off the franchise fee, and 50-75%% off the initial application fee. The UPS Store ranked as the top participant of the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative program in 2008 and has a large number of its locations run by veteran entrepreneurs.
- 7-Eleven Veterans Franchising: Similar to UPS and a number of other companies, 7-Eleven offers special benefits to veteran franchisees. If you’re eligible, you can receive up to 20% off the initial franchise fee, up to 65% financing through 7-Eleven, and special financing options.
- Little Caesars Veterans Program: As you’ve seen by now, if you’re a veteran looking to start your own business, franchising could be a worthwhile path to pursue. Little Caesars Pizza offers a set of discounts to honorably discharged veterans, including a $5,000 franchise fee discount, the same amount off of the first equipment order, and other marketing and supply services that total up to $30,000. Service-disabled veterans qualify for even more, including a full waiver of the full $20,000 franchise fee and $30,000 worth of other benefits.
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