SBA Loans Help Veteran Businesses

Eisenhower statue with flag
The Small Business Administration has been instrumental in helping veterans launch businesses.

One of these veterans is Tim Rush, a US Army veteran who began a countertop and cabinet business in Nebraska.

“I had been looking for a building with showroom space in the front and that would also accommodate a shop in the back since 1995, and as it turns out, they are actually few and far between. I jumped at the opportunity, secured the building, chose countertops as my product, dropped everything else in my life, and in May of 2011, Flat Tops Counter Co. was born,” said Rush in an interview with The Independent.

Rush, a former Army soldier in the 82nd Airborne with experience in military intelligence, began work in construction in 1995. An injury prompted him to transition to other aspects besides the more hands-on jobs involved in construction and remodeling.

“It was getting too physical, so I looked at the other side of construction and got into sales and marketing,” Rush said in an interview with the Independent.

Rush obtained an SBA loan that gave him a revolving line of credit.

The SBA has long prided itself on providing financing in the form of SBA loans for America’s veterans. SBA financing is not lent by the SBA or federal government. Rather, the federal government insures the SBA loans that private lenders offer to borrowers. This reduces lenders’ risk and allows them to offer financing with lower interest rates, which are all the more attractive to prospective borrowers.

“Our SBA loan programs are helping make sure these veteran entrepreneurs have the resources they need to start, grow and succeed. Moreover, statistics show that the success rate of these veteran-owned firms in this country is higher than other startups, perhaps a reflection of the discipline, skills and leadership experience acquired in military service applied to the marketplace,” said SBA Nebraska District Office lead lender relations specialist Mike Niehaus, in an interview with the Independent.

In the 2012 fiscal year 27 SBA loans were lent to veterans. These loans were valued at $10.3 million and represent 7 percent of all SBA financing in the 2012 fiscal year.