American heroes in the military community continue to make a mark on the entrepreneurial landscape, with federal loans to veteran-owned small businesses seeing a 14% increase last year. The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this growth trend on Monday, revealing that it provided over $1.1 billion in support to more than 2,800 veteran companies in fiscal year 2023. This represents a 40% rise in funding and a 33% increase in loan numbers compared to 2020, after years of decline from fiscal years 2017 to 2020.
SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman highlighted the growth as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of veterans and the SBA’s commitment to simplifying access, reducing red tape, and expanding outreach to meet entrepreneurs’ needs. Guzman stated that there are approximately 1.9 million veteran-owned small businesses that employ about 5.5 million Americans, making up a 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 its efforts around Veterans Day, the agency launched six new Veteran Business Outreach Centers across its existing network of 22 sites. SBA officials also recently announced a new SBA Veteran Business Certification program designed to connect service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses with more federal contracting opportunities and expanded training programs for women veterans and disabled veterans.
Guzman attended the opening ceremony of one new center in Long Beach, California earlier this month, with another set to open in Nevada by the end of this month. More information on support services for veteran businesses can be found on the SBA website.