The growth in federal loans to veteran-owned small businesses has seen a remarkable increase of 14% last year, marking another year of continued growth for entrepreneurs within the military community. This news was announced by officials from the Small Business Administration (SBA) on Monday. In fiscal year 2023, the agency provided over $1.1 billion in support to more than 2,800 veteran companies, which is a rise of approximately 40% in funding and 33% in total loan numbers since 2020.
SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman stated that this growth is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of American heroes and the SBA’s commitment to simplifying access, reducing red tape, and expanding outreach to meet entrepreneurs’ needs. The administration estimates that there are around 1.9 million veteran-owned small businesses that employ about 5.5 million Americans, which is a small but significant portion of the country’s workforce.
In June, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the SBA to develop more tools to assist would-be veteran entrepreneurs and military spouses wanting to start their own businesses. As part of their outreach efforts around Veterans Day, Guzman attended the opening ceremony of one new Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Long Beach, California earlier this month. Another VBOC is set to open in Nevada by the end of the month.
The SBA has also recently launched a new SBA Veteran Business Certification program aimed at connecting service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses with more federal contracting opportunities and expanded existing entrepreneurship training programs with a focus on women veterans and disabled veterans. More information on support services for veteran businesses can be found on the SBA website.