Skip to main content

Bank of America CEO: One big way to help veterans is help them get capital to start a business

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.

Getty Images
Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan.
Each year, more than 200,000 U.S. military veterans return to civilian life after serving our country in uniform. According to the Small Business Administration, 10 percent of veterans would like to own their own business. Veterans are disciplined, well-trained leaders. With access to capital and business training, their success rates as small business owners are high. This contributes to local economic activity and job creation.
Veterans can struggle to find capital they need to get their businesses going. In fact, more than 75 percent of veterans reported encountering challenges as they started and looked to grow their business, citing access to capital as a top challenge, according to an Institute for Veterans and Military Families study.
Just about 8 percent of veterans used business loans from banks or other commercial lenders, yet veteran-owned business account for nearly 10 percent of all U.S business and generate about $1.1 trillion in sales each year.
Providing access to capital is where America's banks can do even more to help the men and women who served the country and now want to help drive the economy. That's why Bank of America recently launched a new $20 million Veteran Entrepreneur Lending Program, to connect prospective veteran business owners with affordable capital to help start and grow their businesses.
We are working closely with community development financial institutions in local communities across the country to identify and support veteran-owned businesses. And before receiving a loan, veteran borrowers can participate in a two-month training program – led by Syracuse University, Oklahoma State University and the non-profit VetToCEO – to help them stay on track in those crucial early years of starting a business.
We know that this is just one way to help, and the success stories are there.
Two years ago, Marc Smith, an Army veteran and owner of the Patriotic Pig BBQ in Texas, needed early capital to grow his business. Marc received a loan from a community development financial institution that was, in his words, a "game-changer." It allowed Marc to buy a large military-themed smoker, which helped him serve four times as many customers and, with the help of ten employees, cater five events per day. His business took off.
In 2017, after 22 years in the military, Marcus Flake, Sr., wanted to apply his Master's Degree in public health and help fellow veterans. With the help of a bank loan, he started a business that does both. Commercial Sanitation Initiative (CSI) U.S. Military Maintenance provides sanitation, maintenance and remodeling services and works to create workforce development programs for veterans.
Today, there are more than 2.5 million U.S. businesses like these that are majority-owned by veterans. Of those, more than 440,000 are also employers, creating economic growth and jobs.
Veterans know how to lead and have a unique ability to influence change. We can all do more to contribute to their success. It's one more way to serve those who have served our country.
Commentary by Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO.


Popular posts from this blog

Michelle Rose Exclusive Interview

  Q:  What's it like growing up in Mpls?   Does the city have interesting stories about Prince?     A:  I only lived in Minneapolis until I was three, but I have fond memories of it.  Even now that I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, I still feel like I'm a part of Minneapolis.  I think a lot of Minnesotans have "Minneapolis Pride", even if they don't live in Minneapolis.  Minneapolis has so many fun things to see and do, and the arts are very important here, with so many theaters and live shows.     Prince put us on the map for music.  I hear Prince stories everywhere I go in Minnesota.  I've met so many people who were associated with Prince, including one of his dancers, and even a former Paisley Park employee working as a cashier at the local grocery store, so I've heard many Prince stories.  I wish I could've been a Chanhassen resident when Prince was still alive, because I know that many Chanhassen residents saw him casually riding his bike around

The Losers Club Releases A New Pop Punk Single And Video

  The Losers Club Releases A New Pop Punk Single And Video Denver based pop punk band The Losers Club has a single release that gets you caught up in its pure rock energy! The song is called "Freak Like Me" and it provides quite an up swing and extremely fun punk sound.  The song has a great video and it's one of the best ways to dig into this single.  What's "Freak Like Me" about? It may be more relatable than you think. Here is what the band says. "Well 'Freak Like Me' is about being really in your own head all the time and feeling stuck. But realizing you're not totally alone and there's a lot of other broken freaks out there who are going through the same thing. " - The Losers Club   Check out "Freak Like Me" along with more from The Losers Club on their  Spotify .  Watch the video  HERE .                                             Website TikTok Instagram YouTube

Planet Of Rhythm Exclusive interview

  GCoulda you tell us what it's like being from L.A.?   LA is a great city for music, like any other large city.   Of course the downsides are things like traffic etc. but it is a wonderful place to create music, to hear music and experience great performances. Could you name the members in Planet of Rhythm and the roles they play? Doug Hafford (me): songwriter, singer, guitar Greg Thomas: Producer Rhythm Guitar, Bass, backup vocals Chad McKinsey: Producer, Drums, Guitar, backup vocals Juliet Roberts: Lead and backup vocals (what a talent she is) Elliott Jason: Lead Guitars Jorge Orellana:  Bass, Sax    Who inspired you guys to make electric blues rock music; is it something you guys just have in common?   The music comes from our love of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s style rockers.   Of course much of that was inspired by earlier artists such as Robert Johnson, or Howlin’ Wolf etc.  We love the simplicity mixed with great musical performances, overdriven guitars and a strong driving bea