Did you know that military spouses can get valuable benefits from the Small Business Administration?
From free training programs and counseling to exclusive access to cash for start-up and emergency loans, the SBA can help military spouse entrepreneurs develop, launch and grow their personal businesses.
Military spouses who move every few years often find it difficult to get access to capital and take advantage of many state and local government assistance programs when starting businesses, but the SBA provides access to free training programs in more than 180 communities nationwide. SBA provides training during all Transition Assistance Program events.
Military spouses are eligible for almost all of the same SBA benefits as most active-duty members and veterans are.
Small Business Training Available for Military Spouses
The SBA offers many types of training for military spouses, active-duty members and veterans -- ranging from introductory business start-up assistance to weeklong seminars on how to develop and market a brand or specialized training on how to win federal contracts reserved especially for veterans and their families.
Most of these courses are free.
Besides learning the details of creating and running a business, the real value of these training sessions lies in networking with other entrepreneurs or experts in the field to learn the real details involved in running a successful business.
Business Counseling Available for Military Spouses
Got your new business idea and plan ready, but you run into problems dealing with local regulations or need to know the best way to ship those essential oils across the country?
The SBA provides free nationwide business owner consulting and counseling nationwide through their district offices, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and other resources. The SBA also can help you connect with other military spouse business owners, as well as Defense Department-certified career counselors who can assist in many phases of business ownership.
Access to Capital
Any business owner knows it, cash is always important.
The SBA can provide military spouses with access to cash from local and national lenders that mere civilians often wish they had. The SBA offers guaranteed loans with competitive rates from legitimate lenders. Beware, there are always those who try to take advantage of the military community, and predatory lenders exist in the business community, too -- not just right outside the main gate of your local military installation.
The SBA offers loans with lower down payments; low or no-collateral loans; long-term, real-estate loans; short-term operating loans and more. Some loans even come with continuing financial counseling and support from the SBA or lender to help ensure your capital flow plan succeeds.
Anyone in the military community knows the apprehension and hassle of finding a new bank at a new duty station. The SBA even can help you locate a business lender in your area within two business days, and these lenders are specially trained to understand the needs of business owners in the military family.
Yes, the SBA even provides access to cash should disaster strike your business; you may remember a few months ago that this little thing called COVID-19 hit business owners hard. Well, the SBA was there with plenty of cash and other assistance. Yes, there were some hiccups in the program, but for the most part, people who needed and applied for help got it. Going forward, expect better coordination of the disaster aid program, but for small business owners, the SBA can offer tons of help with access to emergency funding and other non-cash assistance.
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