Each year, nearly 250,000 veterans transition from military to civilian life, and while many will decide to become small business entrepreneurs, they can find challenges raising capital.
Susquehanna Bank is doing its part to help our country’s bravest meet those challenges and is pledging to go even further in the next five years, under the SBA’s Veteran Pledge Initiative.
In the 2012 fiscal year, Susquehanna made more business loans by volume to veterans than any other lender in the SBA’s Region 3, which includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Owning a business is the American Dream. No one deserves to have that dream become a reality more than the brave men and women who fight for our freedom,” said Lynn Ozer, President of SBA and Government-Guaranteed Lending at Susquehanna Bank. “Susquehanna Bank is proud to be a part of this initiative and will do everything in its power to help our returning troops reach their financial goals.”
As part of the Initiative, the SBA is calling on its national and regional lending partners to increase lending activity to veterans by 5 percent for the next five years. The agency is challenging each bank to make a specific number of loans to veterans based on the bank’s historical activity.
With the support of its lending partners, the SBA hopes to serve an additional 2,000 veterans and increase lending by $677 million over five years. In Region 3, the goal is 200 additional veterans served during the next five years.
Susquehanna Bank also participates in the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders’ Operation: Vet Access, a lending initiative unveiled in September. Under the initiative, banks and lenders are coming together to provide access to capital for veterans to start and sustain their own businesses.
Nine percent of small businesses are currently owned by veterans, according to SBA data. Operation: Vet Access allows veterans who own businesses to qualify for certain fee waivers, along with other benefits. More information is available at www.naggl.org/operationvetaccess.
The Veterans Pledge Initiative is a complement to Boots to Business: From Service to Startup, an SBA-sponsored worldwide program offered as a component of the Department of Defense’s redesigned Transition Assistance Program. Boots to Business, offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, is a three-step training program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership. More information is available at http://boots2business.org.
About Susquehanna Bank
Susquehanna Bank operates more than 240 branch offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia. It is part of Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc., a financial services holding company with assets of $18 billion and 3,400 employees. Through Susquehanna Wealth Management, the company also offers investment, fiduciary, brokerage, insurance, retirement planning, and private banking services. Susquehanna also operates an insurance brokerage and employee benefits company, a commercial finance company and a vehicle leasing company. For more information, please visit www.susquehanna.net.