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Companies salute veterans with capital lending programs
Eli Dile   on Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 12:00:00 am

By Jasmine Latiolais, IEDC intern, University of Texas at Dallas

Bank of America recently launched a $20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program dedicated to providing former U.S. military personnel with capital to start or grow a business. Bank of America’s announcement follows a trend of other businesses, universities, and foundations hoping to encourage veteran entrepreneurship through capital programs. The PenFed Foundation just launched a Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program, which includes $1 million in seed capital for veteran-owned startups. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service announced a collaborative pilot program to help veterans meet the federal requirements of Farm Service Agency Direct Farm Ownership loans (Washington Times Herald).

So why veterans? Companies may be acting out of good will, but it’s also true that investing in veterans is a smart business decision that boosts the overall economy. The Small Business Administration cites that veteran-owned businesses account for nearly 9 percent of all businesses in the United States, employ 5.8 million people, and contribute over $1.14 trillion to the U.S. economy every year. That’s a big impact for one group.

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